Following the lawsuit roadmap set by Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, the son of one of 10 people slain at a Colorado supermarket in 2021 is suing Sturm, Ruger & Co. on how it marketed the firearm used in the massacre.
Sturm, Ruger & Co., based in Fairfield, Connecticut, was sued Tuesday for “reckless” and “immoral” marketing of their AR-556 weapon. Damages are unknown.
Nathaniel Getz, whose mother, Suzanne Fountain, was killed on March 22, 2021, King Soopers shooting in Boulder, filed the complaint, according to his lawyer, Andrew Garza.
“We filed the lawsuit to both to seek justice for the victim’s family, but also to hold them accountable and to serve a preventative function as well, to protect future victims,” Garza said in a phone interview Wednesday.
“We believe they marketed it in a way meant to appeal to the militarization of young individuals, glorified lone shooters, and, especially in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, we think they had a moral responsibility to do better,” he said.
Getz and Sturm, Ruger & Co. reps did not respond to emails Wednesday.
The complaint was filed days before the second anniversary of the incident and the Connecticut statute of limitations. Garza pushed more victims’ families to sue.
Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, 23, is suspected of shooting customers, employees, and a police officer who tried to stop the incident. Schizophrenic Alissa cannot stand trial. He faces murder and many attempted murder charges.
According to investigators, Alissa legally bought a Ruger AR-556 weapon six days before the shooting.
The contentious 2005 Preservation of Lawful Trade in Arms Act exempted gun manufacturers from accountability for product injury.
Exceptions exist. The Connecticut Supreme Court found in 2019 that Sandy Hook families could sue Remington under an exception for its Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle marketing.
Remington settled with the families for $73 million after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected its appeal in 2019.
Gun control advocates, gun rights supporters, and manufacturers monitored the case because it could help other shooting victims sue firearm manufacturers.
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On December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killed 20 first-graders and six educators.
Nine relatives and a survivor sued Remington. Suggesting the corporation targeted at-risk males in violent video game advertising and product placement. Remington’s Bushmaster ad read “Consider Your Man Card Reissued.”
Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s marketing materials featured statements like “Anything else would be un-American,” according to the lawsuit.
The Ruger AR-556 weapon used in the Colorado shooting resembled an AR-15. Getz claims the firm manufactured the pistol version to circumvent rifle laws.