Remington Arms agreed to settle the liability claims from the families of four kids and five adults who were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012. This is the first time in the United States that a gun manufacturer has been held liable for a mass shooting that was found to use one of the company’s weapons.
On December 14, 2012, the shooter forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School. In just over four minutes, Lanza fatally shot 20 first-grade students and six school staff members. The gun used was a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, “Remington’s version of the AR-15 assault rifle, which is substantially similar to the standard-issue M15 military service rifle,” ABC News reported.
In the suit, which was filed in 2014, the families argued Remington “negligently entrusted to civilian consumers an assault-style rifle that is suitable for use only by military and law enforcement personnel and violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act through the sale or wrongful marketing of the rifle,” ABC News explained.
Remington argued the company was protected by a federal law that gives immunity in a broad sense to the gun industry. However, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the gun manufacturer could be used under state law over the way Remington marketed the rifle.
After filing for bankruptcy in 2020, according to AXIOS, Remington has agreed to pay the families $73 million in a settlement over the marketing practices that led to the death of the nine people named in the suit — after offering $33 million to the families in 2021. Fatherly reached out to Remington for comment and has not yet heard back.
This is the first time a weapon manufacturer has been held accountable for its role in a mass shooting or gun violence, which could potentially open the door for other similar lawsuits.
Lenny Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son, Noah, was killed at Sandy Hook, said in a statement to ABC News, “Our loss is irreversible, and in that sense, this outcome is neither redemptive nor restorative. One moment we had this dazzling, energetic 6-year-old little boy, and the next all we had left were echoes of the past, photographs of a lost boy who will never grow older, calendars marking a horrifying new anniversary, a lonely grave, and pieces of Noah’s life stored in a backpack and boxes.”
“Every day is a realization that he should be there, and he is not. What is lost remains lost,” they continued. “However, the resolution does provide a measure of accountability in an industry that has thus far operated with impunity. For this, we are grateful.”