In 2017, a madman started raining down bullets into the crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival. When he finished, he had killed 58 people and wounded an additional 422. Now, the family of a Las Vegas victim has filed suit in regard of the shooting.
The lawsuit seeks to blame eight gun manufacturers for the shooting, instead of the man who actually pulled the trigger. Carrie Parsons’ parents filed the lawsuit on July 3, saying someone needs to be held accountable for their daughter’s death.
“It was a horrifying, agonizing experience and we don’t want this to happen to other families,” said the Parsons to the Associated Press.
The lawsuit names eight firearm companies — Colt, Daniel Defense, Patriot Ordnance Factory, FN America, Novekse Rifleworks, LMT Defense, LWRCI, and Christensen Arms — as well as several gun retailers. It maintains that these companies marketed the firearms in a way that caused the attack, showing “reckless lack of regard for public safety.”
“It was only a question of when — not if — a gunman would take advantage of the ease of modifying AR-15s to fire automatically in order to substantially increase the body count,” wrote Joshua Koskoff in the suit.
Koskoff also represents the families of the victims of the Newtown shooting, who are suing Bushmaster in a similar manner. In both cases, lawyers are trying to get around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. How? By focusing on how guns are marketed to the public. In the Las Vegas case, plaintiffs claim manufacturers marketed the ease that users could modify rifles to mimic machine guns. The incident in Las Vegas resulted in the ATF banning citizens from owning bump stocks earlier this year.
Response to Las Vegas Victim Lawsuit
Representatives from the firearms industry have come out putting the blame of such attacks on the criminals involved. In fact, Lawrence Keane, SVP and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, already put out a response.
“It is wrong to blame the manufacturers of legal, non-defective products lawfully sold for the actions of a madman,” Keane said. “Doing so would be like attempting to hold Ford responsible for a deranged criminal who affixes after-market parts to a Mustang and then misused that car to attack a group of pedestrians.”
Other lawsuits have been filed in regard to this attack. However, this is the first to name firearm companies as defendants. The companies named in this lawsuit have not yet responded.