McKenna on KIRO: Sandy Hook families target gun manufacturer

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a lawsuit against a gun manufacturer over the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. Some families of the victims are suing Remington, although gun manufacturers are largely shielded by federal law from these types of suits. Their lawyers argued in a Connecticut Supreme Court hearing Tuesday that Remington is liable because the company, as CNN summarized, “knowingly marketed and sold the AR-15 to a particularly vulnerable group of young men.”

Dave Ross: “[The plaintiffs’ lawyers] want the power of discovery, and they will probably seek to portray Remington – and by extension, the entire gun industry – as the tobacco industry was portrayed 20 years ago, and then just let public opinion do the rest.”

Rob McKenna: “Yeah, I think that’s right. But I am always fascinated by the number of cases that are brought…analogizing to tobacco. We’re seeing it right now in the opioid lawsuits, for example.

“But opioids and guns are different than tobacco in a crucial way. If used properly, they aren’t harmful. If abused, they’re extremely harmful – people can die. Tobacco, on the other hand, is harmful, period.

“In using it normally, in using it the way it is intended, it causes harm, and that ultimately was the Achilles’ Heel that led to the tobacco settlement.”

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