ARS & the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence Respond to the Dismissal of a Lawsuit by Sandy Hook Parents Against Gun Manufacturer

October 14, 2016 — Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and its partner organization, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, today responded to the dismissal by Connecticut State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis of a lawsuit against gun manufacturer Remington Arms brought by parents of children killed at the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. In her ruling, Judge Bellis cited the gun manufacturer immunity legislation the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) as grounds for dismissal.

The ruling comes on the eve of Congresswoman Giffords’ visit to Newtown, Connecticut, tomorrow, Saturday, October 15.

“This is the result of legal immunity for the gun industry: Grieving parents and other victims are denied access to the courts and denied an opportunity for a fair hearing,” said Peter Ambler, Executive Director of Americans for Responsible Solutions. “Virtually no other industry enjoys this special protection from accountability. PLCAA is an outrageous giveaway to the firearms industry, a giveaway that virtually no other industry enjoys. It is past time for this irresponsible and unfair law to be overturned.”

“Congress has granted unprecedented protection to the gun industry, thanks to the gun lobby’s destructive grip on Washington,” said Robyn Thomas, the Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which merged with Americans for Responsible Solutions in March 2016. “Claiming to protect one right, the gun lobby has infringed on another: the right to have your day in court. The dismissal of the Newtown families’ case doesn’t mean their claims lack merit—it means that our system is rigged in favor of the gun industry and our leaders refuse to hold the manufacturers of deadly weapons of war accountable for the carnage they wreak in our communities, on our streets, and even in our first-grade classrooms. PLCAA is a disgrace that Congress must repeal.”

Learn more about PLCAA: http://smartgunlaws.org/gun-laws/federal-law/other-laws/immunity-statutes