Judge: Synagogue shooting victims’ lawsuit against gun maker, seller can proceed

A Superior Court judge in San Diego held last week that gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson can indeed be sued by survivors as well as the families of those who died in a 2019 shooting incident at a Poway, California synagogue involving one of its products, as The Hill reports.

According to an account of the decision from Reuters, Judge Kenneth Medel disagreed with the manufacturer’s assertion that the claims in the suit were barred by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a federal statute that typically works to protect the makers and sellers of firearms from litigation stemming from events such as the one at the Chabad of Poway, which left one person dead and three others injured.

Judge Medel’s ruling also permits legal action to go forward against San Diego Guns, the retailer that sold the weapon to accused gunman John Earnest, who was 19 years of age at the time of the incident, as The Hill noted.

The lawsuit at issue was filed last summer and includes claims that Smith & Wesson committed a breach of California state law in that it produced its M&P15 rifle – reportedly short for “Military & Police” – in such a way as to be easily converted into an assault-style weapon.

The plaintiffs contend that the gun maker’s marketing strategies “attracted impulsive young men with military complexes who were particularly likely to be attracted to the unique ability of AR-15 style weapons,” Reuters added.

As such, they argued, Smith & Wesson was in violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, which is designed to protect against deceptive marketing practices, removing the case from the provisions of the PLCAA, under which lawsuits can proceed against gun makers and sellers who have breached one or more state statutes.

The claimants in the case are seeking an unspecified dollar amount in damages as well as injunctive relief that would force the gun maker to cease the marketing tactics cited in the complaint and also adjust its sales and distribution methods.

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Jonathan Lowy, heralded the decision, saying, “Today’s judgment is a victory, and an important step on the road to justice for the victims of the shooting at Chabad of Poway Synagogue, and all Americans who believe that the gun industry is not above the law,” adding that the plaintiffs “look forward to proving our case in court, and working to prevent future tragedies.”

Neither Smith & Wesson nor San Diego Guns offered immediate comment on the ruling, but those who support the Second Amendment surely hope that an aggressive battle will be mounted against any outcome that could place undue burdens on the ability of gun makers and sellers to engage in commerce with law-abiding citizens.

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Michael J O'Connor (@guest_381838)
Guest
20 days ago

These judges got to go.

Donald Coons (@guest_381711)
Guest
21 days ago

Here’s another case heading to the Supreme Court, unfortunately it’s probably going to cost S & W, and gun store money to defend…. the bottom line goal of these types of suits, bankruptcy

Anna (@guest_381683)
Guest
21 days ago

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Last edited 21 days ago by Anna
pam (@guest_381666)
Guest
21 days ago

Blame, blame, blame, this is redicilous

Doug Rodrigues (@guest_381700)
Guest
Reply to  pam
21 days ago

Maybe the Wright Brother’s descendants can be sued for airplane crashes over the years?

Sue (@guest_381664)
Guest
21 days ago

If you lay a gun on a table in a room full of people, how many would it shoot? Answer: NONE. Someone has to pull the trigger. Get real, Judge. The maker is not the cause of any crime the violent people are. You know, the ones Biden and Pelosi released from prison for no reason.

Christine (@guest_381663)
Guest
21 days ago

So where will this stop, car makers responsible for car accidents, producers of beer and alcohol responsible for alcoholics, etc… how about we put the blame where it belongs. I am so disgusted by this action!

Doug Rodrigues (@guest_381699)
Guest
Reply to  Christine
21 days ago

The “Judge” is using liberal ‘Feelings’ to make decisions instead of common sense.

Yvonne Shelton (@guest_381584)
Guest
22 days ago

The person who fires a weapon is responsible for whatever injury, or hurt they inflict on someone. The gun does not fire itself, and anyone who helped make the gun is not responsible for the gun. Whoever fires the gun is responsible for the act of firing the gun.

Jackk (@guest_381592)
Guest
Reply to  Yvonne Shelton
22 days ago

Absolutely right

Zona (@guest_381564)
Guest
22 days ago

Okay, let’s see, tobacco companies are next, (Cancer, lung problems etc)then there are the alcohol distilleries, ( alcoholism, destruction of brain cells, etc.)you get where I’m going.

Brian (@guest_381558)
Guest
22 days ago

This is bullshit Smith and Wesson isn’t responsible for the idiot to pull the trigger is the one that’s responsible

JayJay (@guest_381556)
Guest
22 days ago

Wonderful! I can now sue Krispy Kreme for the weight I gained!

Don (@guest_381555)
Guest
22 days ago

By that type of logic you can sue car companies for DUI or other car accidents.

Gina Harms (@guest_381540)
Guest
22 days ago

California acts like they are their own country . Smith and Wesson have a product to sell. Once it’s in the buyer’s hand, that’s on them.

Cynthia (@guest_381546)
Guest
Reply to  Gina Harms
22 days ago

I agree !!! That is so wrong

Clarence E Williams (@guest_381532)
Guest
22 days ago

What’s next? Holding knife manufacturers accountable for people who get killed with kitchen knives they manufacturer or companies who make baseball bats accountable for the same reason and etc.. What ever happened to putting the blame 100% on the one who commits the crime? This country is f*** up.

Gene Weidman (@guest_381544)
Guest
Reply to  Clarence E Williams
22 days ago

this judge is a fake moron with no common sense and the brains of a jack ass

egg (@guest_381598)
Guest
Reply to  Gene Weidman
22 days ago

Another lackey of the Obamas’. His nose is still brown from Barry, or as lockjaw from Michelle.

Stanley A Breining (@guest_381531)
Guest
22 days ago

Then we can sue the judge for any bad decision he makes where people get hurt or killed right

Rhonda (@guest_381527)
Guest
22 days ago

California needs to do the nation a favor and slide off into the ocean.

Eddie Price (@guest_381534)
Guest
Reply to  Rhonda
22 days ago

That would be a blessing for this Country

Bobby (@guest_381525)
Guest
22 days ago

If this is true people can due car manufacturers , alcohol manufactures on DUI vehicular homicide accidents.

IH8LIBS (@guest_381524)
Guest
22 days ago

Interesting, so are automobile manufacturers liable when some tool uses their vehicle a battering ram???

Paul Flint (@guest_381523)
Guest
22 days ago

If you ask me there are no more laws demorats never go to jail why should we defend yourself we haft to fight to the death again for our country

Nick Cignetti (@guest_381522)
Guest
22 days ago

Stupidly gone to seed.

MrJeff203 (@guest_381521)
Guest
22 days ago

This judge is totally insane (must be a Dumbocrat). The manufacturer is not responsible for what a mentally deranged individual does with a weapon after he/she purchases it. It that would be the case then every pharmaceutical company should be held responsible for every overdose death because they made the drug that the individual overdosed on. That gun/guns did not kill those people, the mentally deranged individual did !!!!

Wharf Rat (@guest_381519)
Guest
22 days ago

Its California – what did you expect. Surprise that they arent going to go after all the workers at Smith and Wesson on an individual basis. Anything to destroy the 2nd Ammendment.
Bloomburgs hand all over this.

James (@guest_381536)
Guest
Reply to  Wharf Rat
22 days ago

I believe that we the American citizens throw Biden/Harris and their administration into Cali along with bussing the illegal aliens that come across our border in with them , build a wall around the state of Cali between it and the rest of America ! Let those drug dealers and gang members that are flooding across our boarder take care of those democrats ! We American citizens but Trump back in the white house and go on with living as free American citizens

John john (@guest_381547)
Guest
Reply to  James
22 days ago

how many states do you want to give up?

Ray Ray harvey (@guest_381590)
Guest
Reply to  John john
22 days ago

1st of all michelle/Michael was not a lady.

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