The manufacturer of the gun used to slaughter 20 schoolchildren and 6 teachers is looking to dismiss a liability lawsuit against them charging that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle is too dangerous for public sale.
Freedom Group, parent company to Bushmaster Firearms, denies it has any liability and cites current laws exempting manufacturers from liability for deaths caused by their death machines. Freedom Group. There's an ironic name if ever one existed.
Freedom Group, the Madison, North Carolina, parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, is arguing that it is protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who include the families of nine children and adults who died and a teacher who survived, say the lawsuit is permitted under an exception to the federal law that allows litigation against companies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.
The Newtown parents are undeterred.
"No lawsuit will ever bring back any of the 26 innocent lives that were stolen or bring peace to the families that will never recover from this," said Nicole Hockley, a plaintiff whose son, Dylan, was killed. "But gun companies must be held accountable for marketing and selling the AR-15, a killing machine designed only for military use, to violence-prone young men.
"We're bringing this lawsuit to save other families from having to live with the nightmare that we do every single day," she said.
I give this lawsuit long odds of surviving, because we live in topsy-turvy times where gun manufacturers enjoy an exemption from the law that no other manufacturer of a product would enjoy: Total liability from the consequences of their unsafe product.
Here's a prediction. If the suit is dismissed, the so-called "Freedom Group" will take aim at them for lawyer's fees, just like the ammunition manufacturer did last year.