July 13, 2021

This is a workaround. Let's hope it works.

For years, gun manufacturers have been shielded from responsibility for the carnage their products bring. Thanks to NRA-backed legislation called Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and a complicit Republican Party, it has been nearly impossible for victims of mass shootings to sue manufacturers or gun stores for their part in America's unique death toll.

But victims of a mass shooting at a San Diego synagogue are not suing over wrongful death. They are suing Smith and Wesson for "negligent marketing." (The gun dealer who sold the gun can be sued because he broke California law in selling to a nineteen-year-old.)

Turns out Smith and Wesson market their M&P15 rifle in a way "that attracted impulsive young men with military complexes who were particularly likely to be attracted to the unique ability of AR-15 style weapons." The Federal judge agreed last week that the case can go forward.

The plaintiffs argue that the advertising definitely is aimed at the potential mass shooter market. The Smith and Wesson rifle looks like an AR15 and can be converted to an assault weapon by an average user.

"The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction requiring Smith & Wesson to stop its allegedly deceptive marketing campaign and to reform its distribution and sales practices." reported Reuters.

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