In a much-anticipated legal move, an appeal has been filed in the case of Soto et al. v. Bushmaster Firearms International LLC et al. The appeal seeks to have the Connecticut Supreme Court override a ruling by Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) prohibits this kind of frivolous lawsuit.
Connecticut Carry has largely stayed quiet on this case, as we believe organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) that represent the industry are better suited to the task, but we are increasingly being asked for comments on the case as the Connecticut organization that advocates for legal armed self-defense that has been on the leading edge of legal battles here in Connecticut.
Before we make any comments on this case, those comments need to be pre-faced: We have feel nothing but sorrow and empathy for the families of Newtown, Connecticut that went through such horrific loss during the mass murder that occurred in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
There is a line, however, that the rest of the citizens of Connecticut, and across the nation do not want to see crossed. And that is where their rights are placed in jeopardy because of the actions of a single mentally deranged human being. We are individuals with rights, and no matter what emotional charge is brought to bear through a collective, we maintain and defend those rights.
In the case of Soto et al. v. Bushmaster Firearms International LLC et al, we believe the families of the victims are being pushed by political interests to make legal assaults against business owners inside and outside of Connecticut that are protected under long-standing and established laws. There are two likely explanations for such attacks: to use the courts as a de-facto penalty with the cost of those businesses defending themselves being a financial penalty. But the more likely end goal of this lawsuit is to lose, allowing members of congress to use emotionally-charged arguments to try and change basic legal protections like the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). We expect those arguments will fail, especially on a Federal level.
"While the PLCAA does provide a legal shield against lawsuits like this, PLCAA simply codified common law and tort principles that pre-dates PLCAA for quite some time. PLCAA may be a “new” law in the collective consciousness, the principles contained within the Act are in line with historical precedence of common sense tort law." – Raymond Johansen, Director of Education, Connecticut Carry
“The trial court properly applied the law Congress wrote. We believe in the rule of law, and soundly reject any attempts at influencing the judiciary to engage in social activism where fundamental rights are concerned. This case was brought to politicize an inanimate object and to impermissibly restrict the free interstate trade in legal products. This suit was an unconscionable act of "lawfare" targeted towards a good and law-abiding segment of society, and it had to fail.” – Matt Tyszka, Director of Legislative Affairs, Connecticut Carry
"The families of the victims are being used for political ends, and there is an obvious concern over whether or not they are aware of it. Shame on collectivist pimps like Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Christopher Murphy and others that would use this tragedy and the families of the victims to promote their disarmament goals." - Rich Burgess, President, Connecticut Carry