The United States Supreme Court Justices rejected an appeal Tuesday from Remington Arms that argued a 2005 federal law shields firearms manufacturers from most lawsuits when their products are used in crimes. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, PLCAA, is a law crafted to protect manufacturers from being sued for misuse of their product.
Depending upon the specific language in the appeal rejection and on how the lawsuit proceeds going forward this has the potential to hamstring several industries, not just firearms. The most obvious are alcohol and tobacco, vehicles are also vulnerable from the marketing standpoint. Every vehicle advertised with high speed turns, off road antics, or as a status symbol of some sort, that later results in death or injury would be at risk of paying out huge sums for implying improper use.
A pillar of the Sandy Hook lawsuit is that the advertisement of the Bushmaster XM15 by Remington caused or encouraged the behavior of the mass shooter who used it, Lanza.
The ad most often mentioned is this one. Reissuing the “man card” was a tongue and cheek push back against the ‘dumb dad’ advertisement wave that often portrayed men as goofy clumsy buffoons totally useless to women and just another child to take care of. Men were not providers, they were not protectors, they weren’t even an equal part parent in nearly every portrayal in every industry ad.
The ad is cheesy and a little low brow. Inferring that Lanza took it to mean murder his mother, six elementary school staff, and 20 children however, that is what the Sandy Hook suit is alleging. It also aims to give credence to the argument that the AR-15 and its ilk are especially dangerous and should be prohibited from citizen ownership.
The lawsuit is all about providing the legal stepping stone for a ban. It cannot redress the murders.