Should gunmakers be responsible for actions of mass murderers? Bushmaster Firearms is taking a stand.
Freedom Group, the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, is expected to request a dismissal this week of the Sandy Hook lawsuit claiming wrongful death by families of victims in the 2012 Newtown school shootings.
Company attorneys claim that the gunmaker can not be held liable for the actions of mass murderer Adam Lanza who used a Bushmaster rifle to kill 20 students and teachers in Newtown, CT, citing protection under a 2005 Federal law which prevents gun manufacturers from being held liable for most criminal actions.
Jonathan Whitcomb, an attorney representing Bushmaster, told reporters the suit has no merit.
“Congress has expressed its clear intention that these kinds of cases against firearm manufacturers shall not be brought and shall not proceed and I think the process by which that law was passed needs to be respected and it needs to be followed,” Whitcomb said.
The lawsuit claims that Bushmaster should be held responsible for Lanza’a actions because the gun manufacturer’s marketing strategy was intended to reach “people like Adam Lanza.”
“It’s about this gun and this type of marketing,” Mark Barden, father of Sandy Hook victim Daniel Barden told the Associated Press. “The manufacturer is marketing to people like Adam Lanza and they know it.”
In December, twelve families of Lanza’s victims split a $1.5 million settlement from the estate of Lanza’s mother, Nancy Lanza. That suit claimed the mother was neglectful for failing to secure the Bushmaster rifle used in the crime.