The families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012 agreed to a $73 million settlement of a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six educators, the Associated Press reports. Remington, which made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the killings, agreed to allow the families to release numerous documents they obtained during the lawsuit including ones showing how it marketed the weapon, the families said Tuesday. The families and a survivor of the shooting sued Remington in 2015, saying the company should have never sold such a dangerous weapon to the public. They said their focus was on preventing future mass shootings.
The civil court case in Connecticut focused on how the firearm used by the Newtown shooter — a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle — was marketed, alleging it targeted younger, at-risk males in and product placement in violent video games. One of Remington’s ads features the rifle against a plain backdrop and the phrase: “Consider Your Man Card Reissued.” Remington had argued there was no evidence to establish that its marketing had anything to do with the shooting. The company said the suit should have been dismissed because of a federal law that gives broad immunity to the gun industry. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Remington could be sued under state law over how it marketed the rifle. The gun maker appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear the case. The case was watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers because it had the potential to guide victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue gun makers. Remington, one of the nation’s oldest gun makers founded in 1816, filed for bankruptcy for a second time in 2020 and its assets were sold off to several companies.