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Gun Control Group Sues Smith & Wesson for Marketing A Rifle Later Used in Mass Shooting

A gun-control group representing victims of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting victims has filed a lawsuit claiming the gun manufacturer negligently marketed the attacker’s rifle to appeal to young men predisposed to violence.

The group, Brady Legal, claims Smith & Wesson illegally marketed the weapon and associated it with law enforcement and the military. Brady Legal said the marketing violated California’s unfair business practices law.

Additionally, the anti-gun group says the rifle could be modified to fire automatically in violation of California’s laws. Other claims include the transportation of the gun to an underage who allegedly did not have a valid California hunting license.

The shooting incident took place at Chabad of Poway Synagogue, 20 miles North of San Diego, on April 27, 2019. A 19-year old assailant killed a woman and wounded three other people, including the Rabbi.

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John Timothy Earnest used Smith & Wesson Model M&P 15 Sport II, an AR-15 variant, to commit the crimes. He was adorned with a bulletproof vest and carried five magazines of ten rounds each. However, his firearm jammed during the incident, thus preventing more casualties. Earnest fled the scene before calling 911 to report his crimes and was arrested two miles away from the scene.

The litigants will have an upstream battle trying to prove their allegations, including linking the advertisement of the rifle to the military and law enforcement use claims. Additionally, the ad did not encourage the shooter to carry out an attack, and therefore, trying to link an advert with the shooting is a long shot. However, the most ridiculous part of the lawsuit is trying to blame a third party for the actions of its customers.

Democrats have tried to pursue this avenue to drive firearm manufacturers out of business. Joe Biden intends to impose liability on gun manufacturers for the misuse of their products.

Despite the failure to have such laws at the federal level because of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, states such as California have allowed such lawsuits to proceed. Until such a lawsuit succeeds, we consider such cases as nothing but hot air and a desperate attempt by the left to make a political statement.


Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.

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