By Brad Dress
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled Thursday that gun makers are not responsible for the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas because the companies have immunity, citing a state law shielding manufacturers from liability.
The court unanimously decided in favor of Colt Manufacturing Co., Sportsman’s Warehouse and other gun manufacturers in a 2019 lawsuit brought by the parents of one woman killed in the Las Vegas shooting, according to a local NBC station.
The family of Carrie Parsons, of Seattle, alleged the manufacturers were liable because they knowingly violated several state and federal laws by selling guns that could be modified by bump stocks to shoot automatically.
But Judge Kristina Pickering said state laws shield the manufacturers from responsibility and the court could not overrule that.
“We in no way underestimate the profound public policy issues presented or the horrific tragedy the Route 91 Harvest Festival mass shooting inflicted,” Pickering wrote in the opinion. “But this is an area the Legislature has occupied extensively. If civil liability is to be imposed against firearm manufacturers and distributors in the
position of the gun companies in this case, that decision is for the Legislature, not this court.”
“We urge the legislature to act if it did not mean to provide immunity in situations like this one,” she added.
The Las Vegas shooting was one of deadliest in modern history; 60 concertgoers were murdered by 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who opened fire from his room in the Mandalay Bay casino hotel.
Paddock was found dead in the hotel room with 23 guns when police arrived. He was also found with a bump stock, a device that can be attached to a weapon to make a firearm shoot faster. Paddock fired more than a thousand rounds in roughly 10 minutes into a crowd of more han 2,000 attending a country music festival.
Parsons’s family alleged in the lawsuit that gunmakers had advertised their firearms as military-style weapons that could be modified by bump stocks and so should be held accountable for the crime.
After the shooting, the Trump administration banned bump stocks.
By Brad Dress