The lawsuit brought by victims of Sandy Hook families sued Remington arguing that it amounts of negligent entrustment to sell AR-15s to civilians. Really, the correct thing to do in this case by the law is to grant the motion to dismiss, but a judge has now declined to do that. It’s not uncommon for judges to refuse to follow the law when it comes to matters like this, so I am not surprised. Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) generally provides immunity to Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) from suits resulting from the criminal misuse of their products, but it allows exceptions for negligence per se and negligent entrustment. Of course, the idea of selling a legal product to customers could possibly be considered negligent entrustment is a fantastic notion, but probably provided this lawless judge with enough grounds to write an opinion that didn’t sound completely like extending a middle finger to Congress and the rule of law.
In truth we were in trouble when we couldn’t get this case removed to federal court, where judges are less likely to ignore the law this blatantly. Superior Court judges in Connecticut are not elected, but they serve at the whim of the Chief Court Administrator. With Malloy threatening their budget, there might have been the fear that this is a bad time rock the boat and displease the governor. The law is never above politics.