A first for Sandy Hook families: Remington gunmaker must pay $75 million

The settlement is the first time a gun manufacturer will be held legally responsible for a mass shooting

By Meryl Phair

Published February 15, 2022 3:45PM (EST)

Seven thousand pairs of shoes, representing the children killed by gun violence since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, are spread out on the lawn on the east side of the U.S. Capitol, March 13, 2018 (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)
Seven thousand pairs of shoes, representing the children killed by gun violence since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, are spread out on the lawn on the east side of the U.S. Capitol, March 13, 2018 (Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

Remington Arms Co. came to a settlement with the families of nine gun violence victims who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, marking the first time a gun manufacturer will be held legally responsible for a mass shooting in the U.S.

The families will be paid $73 million by Remington, who made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the killing of 20 first graders and six educators. 

A federal law established in 2005 prevents gun manufactures from being held responsible for the death of gun violence victims. The case took a different angle, holding Remington liable for its marketing strategy, reports CNNRemington will release documents from the lawsuit showing how their gun marketing targeted young, at-risk males. Remington has long claimed that marketing had no connections to the shooting. 

The company was originally sued in 2015 by the victims' families and has since gone bankrupt from a myriad of lawsuits and restrictions following the shooting in Newton. Four of the companies' insurers will be responsible for the payout. 

"This victory should serve as a wake up call not only to the gun industry, but also the insurance and banking companies that prop it up. For the gun industry, it's time to stop recklessly marketing all guns to all people for all uses and instead ask how marketing can lower risk rather than court it," said Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the plaintiffs for the Chicago Tribune.

The decision comes the day after the fourth anniversary of the Parkland shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which left 14 students and three staff members dead.

On Monday, President Biden urged Congress to act against gun violence. Of the families, advocates, lawyers, and all those working to end mass shootings in America, the President said, "Together, this extraordinary movement is making sure that the voices of victims and survivors and responsible gun owners are louder than the voices of gun manufacturers and the National Rifle Association."


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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Gun Violence Parkland Remington Sandy Hook School Shooting