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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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
Updated 36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.