U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) has signed onto a legal brief asking the Supreme Court not to hold the gun-maker Remington Arms financially responsible for the Sandy Hook massacre.
Remington manufactured the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012. Families of the victims sued Remington for wrongful death in 2015, arguing that the gun-maker violated state laws by advertising its product to young men in violent video games.
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in the families' favor in March. Remington appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, 10 states and 22 Republican members of Congress filed briefs with the court arguing that a federal law protects Remington from liability—and that this case should not fall under the narrow exceptions to that law.
Among those members of Congress? Oregon's Walden.
In their brief, the Republican members of Congress argue that the 2005 federal law—called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act—would be warped by creating broad loopholes for victims of shootings to sue gun-makers.
"In enacting the PLCAA," they write, "Congress made its intent clear: uniform preemption of state and federal law-suits against gun manufacturers based on the criminal misuse of firearms by third parties, subject to certain very limited exceptions."
Walden told WW in a statement that he believes it's illogical to hold gun-makers accountable for mass shootings.
"I abhor the violence that has been wrought by criminals seeking to impose murder and mayhem on their fellow citizens and destroy our sense of safety within our communities," he said Saturday. "However, punishing gun manufacturers for the abusive and illegal acts of the product user is akin to suing car manufacturers for the actions of a drunk driver or terrorist.
"We need to focus on actual solutions that will end this violence like ensuring people have access to quality mental health care and that our background check system is receiving the data necessary to properly function and keep guns out of those who should not have them under the law."