This is a move that reeks of desperation.
With that type of marketing, the Sandy Hook families claim, “The Bushmaster Defendants attract buyers by extolling the militaristic and assaultive qualities of their AR-15 rifles.” The complaint alleges that while the weapon is suitable for the military and for law enforcement — where it’s used for combat and limited police purposes — in civilian hands, the high-caliber, rapid-fire rifles are essentially killing machines.
They have no legal or worse, constitutional standing. Are they are using the same Law Firm that was used to sue Cheaper Than Dirt and got the case lost via judicial spanking?
“Commercial speech” as a constitutional doctrine — initially (and even today) an exception from the First Amendment’s normal rules — was casually suggested by a U.S. Supreme Court opinion in 1942. Then, in 1976, it was altered substantially when the Court recognized that such a talismanic exemption from the Constitution’s mandates was unsustainable. Later, it was transformed by repeated Court cases that resulted in a solid First Amendment rule that commercial speech that is neither false nor misleading is fully protected speech. By 2001, the doctrine approached maturity when the Court recognized that even tobacco advertising was entitled to significant First Amendment protection.
Come on, the lawyers must know, are they really that stupid? Or is there something else?
From the original article:
“It’s a long shot,” Culhane concedes, but the plaintiffs’ argument holds powerful potential if the suit manages to reveal the thinking behind the riflemaker’s marketing strategy for the military-grade firearms. Positioning the case as a contest between commercial exploitation and parents mourning murdered children puts enormous pressure on the industry, he says.
Basically it is a two-pronged approach: Death by thousand legal paper cuts and associated expenses and gather enough material to use in public campaign to mute gun advertising via “shame.” I don’t know if Connecticut has the legal recourse of forcing the plaintiff to pay for legal and other costs if they lose, but if they do, Daddy Bloomberg better have the checkbook ready.
And as for shaming…Do we really look like we give two damns and a donut? It is not like Bushmaster took an ad in the New York Times or posted a sales banner at the local Piggy Wiggly. Gun advertising is pretty much localized in magazines and gun-related media.
I think they are grasping at legal straws. Mind you, Bushmaster is in enemy Judicial territory so the fight might not be over soon.
It is not just one Amendment they do not like…