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Judge Dismisses Newtown Families' Lawsuit Against AR-15-Style Gun-Maker

Congress has broadly prohibited lawsuits against gun-makers for harm caused by their weapons, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled Friday. The judge is seen here during a hearing in Bridgeport, Conn., in June.
Ned Gerard/AP

 

A Connecticut judge has dismissed a lawsuit that was filed against the manufacturer and seller of the weapon used in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

The dismissal comes months after a judge allowed the case to proceed against Remington Arms, maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, as well as the distributor and seller. The families sought damages and relief in their lawsuit, arguing that the weapon that Adam Lanza used to kill 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook should never have been sold in the civilian marketplace.

In addition to Remington, the lawsuit named firearms distributor Camfour as well as Riverview Sales, the company that owned the gun store, saying that the defendants had violated both federal and state laws that cover lawful commerce and trade practices.

In her decision released Friday, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis concluded that Congress, through the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, has broadly prohibited lawsuits against the makers, distributors and sellers of guns "for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products ... by others when the product functioned as designed and intended."

Bellis also wrote of other lawsuits that have alleged negligent entrustment, citing such cases against makers of automobiles, ATVs and BB guns and saying that the validity of the plaintiffs' claims hinged on whether the companies could have had any knowledge of an end user's "propensities toward misuse" of the product in question.

The judge also noted that the families' lawsuit said this case was different, in that Remington and the other defendants' entrustment of the Bushmaster model XM15-E2S to the public "involved an unreasonable risk of physical injury to others."

In her ruling, Bellis also revisited the federal laws covering such cases — including the debate over the federal PLCAA, particularly Rep. John Conyers' criticisms of the bill's narrow scope in covering only the initial transfer of a gun from seller to buyer. Bellis quotes Conyers' argument in which he said the bill "irresponsibly protects dealers who recklessly sell to gun traffickers" who will then resell the guns to criminals.

From Friday's decision:

"Based on the clear intent of Congress to narrowly define the 'negligent entrustment' exception, Adam Lanza's use of the firearm is the only actionable use. Accordingly, the plaintiffs have not alleged that any of the defendants' entrustees 'used' the firearm within the confines of PLCAA's definition of the term. To the contrary, the plaintiffs have alleged facts that place them directly in the category of victims to which Congress knowingly denied relief."

Bellis also rejected the plaintiffs' idea that "common law recognizes a class as broad as civilians to support a claim for negligent entrustment."

It's the latest turn in a lawsuit that has seen its venue changed to a federal court — at the request of Remington, along with other defendants — only to be returned to state court nearly one year ago.

Source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/10/14/497989377/judge-dismisses-newtown-families-lawsuit-against-ar-15-style-gun-maker

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Naples Gun School CCW CWP Concealed Weapon Class FFL gun sales

Naples Gun Shop & School | 347 Airport Road N, Naples, FL 34104 | (239) 285-4011

 

Reviewsc

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I am an attorney from New York and currently residing in Florida. I have no experience with guns and never thought of owning one. Nevertheless, I wanted to understand gun culture and gun issues in Florida especially now that I am a permanent Florida resident. David Rich's class was extremely informative and David clearly demonstrated not only his knowledge of guns and gun safety but more importantly for me, he provided the legal framework and ramifications and responsibilities of gun use and ownership. Overall, the class was thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable. Dean Fong

  Nahun YCaridad Flores recommends Naples Gun Shop & School. I attended class last Saturday. It was a wonderful experience. I definitely recommend.

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great class. Made the class interesting. Instructor was extremely helpful and made my wife and I very comfortable. Antonio Santos

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Love this place. Dave treated me like a V.I.P. He's a cool guy. He takes time teaching you throughout the course. This is the place to buy firearms, supplies and for class. A++++ Anthony Rojas

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great class!! There was a lot more hands on instruction than the class that I had in Tennessee. David was knowledgeable and entertaining. Good insights on Florida law. My wife will be taking the class shortly. Thanks David. Kevin 9/15/2018

  I thoroughly enjoyed the concealed weapons class on 8/11/18. The class went beyond my expectations. Dave you are an awesome instructor and made the class fun. I would highly recommend Naples Gun Shopping and School! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! - Teresa Cannon

David is an excellent instructor. The class is excellent and exceeded my expectations with information on the laws of Florida, and as well to carry properly, load the weapons as well as placement of holding weapons. If your looking to buy a weapon he is the man to go to. I personally bought my firearm from. - Carlos Casiano

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  Martha Hohenthaner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  This was a very good class. I did not have to take it, as I am a Veteran, however it is a good idea. I learned a lot about Florida Law I did not know. It will in the long run help keep you out of trouble. David was very patient with my wife when we live fired, because she has arthritis and had a hard time pulling the trigger in double action mode. Good Job David thanks so much..Joseph Hohenthaner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  The class was engaging and as fast paced as it can be. The instructor was knowledgeable and worked well with a class spanning all the levels of experience and age you can imagine. I also felt it was fairly priced, especially as you just had to bring yourself and an ID - all other supplies were, er, supplied.Cliff Elam 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  Naples Gun Shop & School gets an A+ in my book! David and Ginny were great. I took the CWP class today 7/21/18. Both are extremely knowledgeable and easy to talk to. David is one of the best instructors that I have had the pleasure of meeting. I highly recommend Naples Gun Shop & School. Best prices, Great training, and easy to deal with. I will definitely be returning to do further business. Thank you David & Ginny....see you soon!Nicholas Lupo

Naples Gun School - 5 stars  I've been a repeat customer for FFL transfers with Naples Gun School for quite some time. Dave's customer service and knowledge are second to none. After speaking with Dave for a few moments, you start to feel as if you have known him for quite a while. I look forward to continuing my business when the new location opens. - Robert Boyette

I really enjoyed the class yesterday, and it was very nice to meet David and Ginny. David is very knowledgeable, helpful, and best of all: has a sense of humor. I was more nervous than I thought I would be because this was the first time in my life that I've ever shot a semi-automatic weapon. David lives and breathes this stuff and his presence and ease with weapons was very calming for me when I was at the range. Ginny was also very supportive throughout the whole class. Thank you guys so much! It's a pleasure and I will be back to purchase supplies from you! - Shenandoah Webb

Naples Gun School - 5 starsTook the 3/31/18 class and loved it! Dave was very informative and his laid back teaching style made the 4 hour class fly by. Would recommend this class to anyone interested in a CWP. Thanks Dave and Ginny! - Kelly Gardner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I’d like to thank The Naples Gun School for the time and effort they took in order to help me become a more responsible hand gun owner. By taking your CCWP class on 3.31.2018, I’m honestly a better person today than I was yesterday. Your course is not only interesting, but informative as well. The time we had together flew by. Throughout the whole process, they were calm and patient with every student. Especially after everyone seemed to drop their cartridges on the floor during the revolver training portion of the program. I highly recommend Naples Gun School to anyone that’s interested in becoming a CCWP holder. And I definitely will use their services by purchasing all my gun needs through their establishment. David & Ginny, thank you so much. I had a wonderful time!Chris Shaffer

Naples Gun School - 5 stars This class kept me very interested, informed and didn’t even realize 4 hours went by! Would recommend everyone to take this class! - Douglas Shaffer

Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Lurybella Lora Trejo

 

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