Jul 4, 2019

Las Vegas mass shooting victim's family sues gun makers

A memorial for the Las Vegas mass shooting victims in 2017. Photo: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The family of a woman who died in a Las Vegas mass shooting filed a wrongful death lawsuit Wednesday against Colt and 7 other gun manufacturers and 3 dealers.

Why it matters: Carrie Parsons, 31, of Seattle, was among 58 people to die at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in 2017 when the gunman opened fire from his Mandalay Bay hotel room before killing himself. It's the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

The big picture: The suit against the gun makers and weapons shops in Nevada and Utah argues AR-15 style rifles are "thinly disguised" machine guns that manufacturers knew could be easily modified, even without the use of a "bump stock," an attachment the Vegas gunman used to allow him to fire in rapid succession, per AP. The Trump administration banned bump stocks in March.

  • It's the latest lawsuit to challenge a 2005 federal law shielding gun manufacturers from liability, but courts have generally rejected such cases, AP notes.

The other side: Lawrence Keane, general counsel and senior vice president for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group, said responsibility for the crimes committed in Vegas lies with the gunman, according to CNN.

"It is wrong to blame the manufacturers of legal, non-defective products lawfully sold for the actions of a madman. Doing so would be like attempting to hold Ford responsible for a deranged criminal who affixes after-market parts to a Mustang and then misused that car to attack a group of pedestrians."
— Statement by Lawrence Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation

Go deeper: America's 21 deadliest modern mass shootings

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