2A Newsletter: February 18th thumbnail image

2A Newsletter: February 18th

80 Percent Arms   |   Feb 17th 2022

Remington Settlement with Sandy Hook Families Explained

The mainstream media and the anti-gunners have been having a field day this whole week upon learning that there was a $73 million dollar settlement between Remington and the families of Sandy Hook victims. Understandably, there was a substantial knee jerk reaction by all sides of this matter. For every gun owner and gun rights supporter, this is extremely concerning. Has this opened up the floodgates of just mass litigation against firearms manufacturers? Perhaps.

A better question would be, even if more cases like this did come forward, would they win in court? See, this is the key detail being left out not only in the news but even in Instagram posts being shared and reposted — Remington never agreed to the settlement. It was their former insurance carriers that settled with the 2012 mass shooting victims’ families.

What does that mean? Well, it’s easier to understand the timeline of events if we break it down in chronological order:

2012 - 20 first-grades and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School were killed in a senseless mass shooting. The gunman used a Bushmaster AR-15, which is part of the Remington brand.

2014 - Relatives of the Sandy Hook victims file a lawsuit against Remington, attempting to hold the firearms manufacturer liable for wrongful marketing practices.

2018 - After plunging sales and immense external political pressure, Remington Arms Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to address their massive debts.

2019 - The US Supreme Court issued a 4-3 decision that allowed the lawsuit to proceed and move forward to be heard by the lower courts which broke prior legal precedents regarding laws put in place to protect manufacturing companies from be held liable for the actions of criminals.

2020 - 7 different groups bought up all the assets of the now defunct Remington Outdoor Company. The biggest share of the assets were purchased by Vista Outdoor who also received the rights to use the Remington brand name and trademarks.

2021 - By April, the Remington ammunition plants in Arkansas had started production back up.

2022 - Insurance carriers for the former Remington Outdoor company included Ironshore (owned by Liberty Mutual), James River Insurance Co., Chubb Ltd. and Swiss Re. settled with Sandy Hook families for $73 million instead of going to trial in court (likely decided to cut their losses rather than risk a supposed payout of $1 billion). The name on the settlement did not reflect any of the insurance carriers but Remington’s instead.

So that brings us to today. Now, Remington’s name is still being carried on but it’s operating with a different owner - Vista Outdoors. Several legal experts and gun rights advocacy groups are confident that if the case had gone to court the plaintiffs would have had real hard time proving that Remington was irresponsible in their marketing to “at-risk” young men such as the gunman at fault for the Sandy Hook mass shooting.

At the time, the plaintiffs were using the weak argument that Remington/Bushmaster should be held liable due to their irresponsible or wrongful marketing which supposedly inspired the shooter to commit mass murder. It’s actually quite difficult to find the exact verbiage used but some news sources say that the lawsuit referenced how the murder weapon was used or depicted in video games as an attempt to target a highly influencable demographic. Not sure why the ESports community hasn’t banded together with us just yet when the billion dollar industry thrives off of plenty of competitive multiplayer first person shooter games — yet we haven’t seen the likes of another “Sandy Hook'' since 2012. Meanwhile, video games have only become more popular, immersive and realistic even.

It’s incredibly far-fetched to say some sort of marketing inspired a deranged young man with ailing mental health to steal his mother’s AR-15, kill her in her sleep and go on to kill several children and their teachers. If you take a look at the Mother Jones Mass Shootings Database, the average age of all documented past mass shooters from 1982 to today is actually 34 years old. At the end of the day, some might wave this off as “eh, semantics” and still count this as a win for the gun control crowd. But as we all know, the devil is always in the details. Never stop reading after only seeing the headlines.

Senators Demand YouTube To Remove Instructional Videos on “Ghost” Guns

Five anti-gunner Senators from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey got together this past week and wrote an open letter to YouTube demanding that they take down all videos which have any hint of instructions or education relating to how to manufacture unserialized or unfinished 80 lowers or polymer 80 Glock style pistol frames. Those politicians include Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NY), Christopher S. Murphy (D-CT), Cory A. Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA).

Recently, we’ve seen a huge slew of videos being removed from YouTube. Lot of our friends in the gun industry have told us that content is being taken down left and right. One example was actually a review from Pew Pew Tactical on our latest patented jig which was removed a few weeks ago. But plenty of YouTubers have been reporting their videos getting removed from the platform which can also be found at the end of the Senators’ letter to YouTube’s CEO. Prior to this, we saw plenty of educational hunting videos that were getting taken down last year as well.

The senators claim that YouTube isn’t doing enough to uphold their Community Guidelines. Yes, tech wizards in Silicon Valley made the platform so they get to make the rules… But what bothers us the most about this is that nobody seems to be up in arms about this like they should be. How censorship has become a legal practice in America is terribly demoralizing. It’s eerily beginning to feel akin to schools banning books. 

Biden Administration Sues Missouri Over 2A Sanctuary Laws

Under the current administration, the Department of Justice has sued the state of Missouri to overturn their Second Amendment protection laws. These laws do not allow local law enforcement to aid federal agencies when it comes to certain federal gun restrictions. The reason why local police have to be so careful with this is because if citizens believe their 2A rights were violated, law enforcement agencies can be fined up to $50,000 and potentially sued for even more. For these reasons and more, Missouri’s Second Amendment Preservation Act continues to stand, making the state a 2A Sanctuary.

While it’s understandable that this has undoubtedly caused tension between local and federal law enforcement departments from the lack of interagency partnership — it’s interesting to see a page taken out of the liberal playbook and have them react so adversely. Toxic behavior? Maybe. But if it protects our rights, perhaps a necessary evil. According to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, “the lawsuit is the Biden Administration’s attempt to get around a potentially unfavorable ruling by the state’s supreme court.”

Update to Washington State Standard Cap Magazine Ban AND 80 Lower Ban

Remember last week we touched on the new standard capacity magazine ban in Washington (which their state House has until March 10th to vote on)?. Thanks to one of our customers residing in Washington, we were informed that the state is trying to sneakily pass another bill, ESHB 1705 (Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1705). This bill would require all those who possess “untraceable” firearms to be turned in to law enforcement otherwise it would have to be engraved by a federal firearms manufacturer, federal firearms dealer, or a federal firearms importer.

If any of that that language seems familiar, it ought to because Washington state isn’t waiting for the ATF to come to a decision on the NPRM 2021R-05. They’re enacting their own version ahead of the federal calendar with essentially the same policies and changes in legal definitions in the NPRM. All Washingtonians need to act now to voice their concerns against this egregious piece of legislation by commenting on the Washington State Legislature site. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this story as it develops.

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