Gunmaker settles landmark lawsuit with mass shooting families

A settlement between Remington and families of victims in the Sandy Hook attack is the first of its kind

American gun manufacturer Remington has agreed to pay $73 million to families of nine victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. The settlement marks the first time a gun manufacturer has been held liable for a mass shooting in the United States. 

The families had taken issue with the way in which Remington had marketed its Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, which was later used in the Newton, Connecticut school shooting that took the lives of 20 children and six adults on December 14, 2012. The gunman also murdered his mother, who legally owned the rifle, and later killed himself with a pistol. 

Through their lawsuit, the families argued Remington had specifically marketed its rifle to at-risk young men through efforts such as advertising in violent video games. In one flagged advertisement, the rifle is featured with the phrase: “Consider your man card reissued.”

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“Marketing weapons of war directly to young people known to have a strong fascination with firearms is reckless and, as too many families know, deadly conduct,” Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the massacre, said at a press conference on Tuesday. 

Remington had previously argued that there was no evidence linking their advertising to that specific shooting. The arms manufacturer had also argued it was protected under immunity laws for gunmakers. The Connecticut Supreme Court, however, ruled the suit could move forward as it was focused on the company’s marketing. The US Supreme Court denied hearing an appeal. 

Remington filed for bankruptcy in 2020, with the firm’s value quickly dropping in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting. Its assets were sold off to several companies. Four insurers for the now-defunct firm have agreed to pay the massive settlement. 

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