Hartford, Cannes. – After agreeing to Fr. Settle the claim for $ 73 million along with gunmaker Remington, families of nine shooting victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School say they are shifting their focus to stopping firearms advertising with macho, a military theme that exploits the insecurity of young people, all in hopes of preventing mass shootings.
Families say Remington used such advertising to promote its AR-15-style rifles, such as the one that killed 20 young children and six educators at Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.
Remington’s marketing strategies are expected to be released when family attorneys make public thousands of internal company documents obtained during the lawsuit. Remington’s lawyers and her insurers have agreed to disclose information under an agreement announced Tuesday.
“It’s a matter of creating change,” said Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed in a shooting in an interview after the settlement was announced. “Now I’m just waiting to access the documents and figure out how to use them for security and best sales and marketing practices.”
Hockley, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, worked with relatives of other victims to stop gun violence through the Sandy Hook Promise organization.
The records may provide one of the most detailed views on attempts by firearms manufacturers to promote AR-15s and similar rifles, military industry observers say, especially after a 10-year federal ban on such weapons ended in 2004.
Hockley and outside observers likened the case to what forced tobacco companies to disclose harmful domestic documents and then agreed to billions of dollars in payments for sick smokers.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Family lawyer Joshua Koskaf said the records are being arranged for public consumption, and the process is expected to take several weeks.
Documents include emails between employees, internal company presentations and business forecasts, Coscaf said. He declined to discuss the contents of the records.
“The information that may emerge … may be features of how the arms industry conducts business that is not widely known or appreciated,” said Timothy D. Litan, a law professor at the University of Georgia. “It will shed light on the role of the industry in the problem of gun violence.”
Remington’s lawyers and his insurers did not respond to reports asking for comment. Remington, founded in 1816 and based in Madison, North Carolina, went bankrupt for the second time in 2020, and its assets were later sold at auction to several other companies. Two new companies, Remington Firearms and Remington Ammunition, were formed.
A message asking for comment was left by Remington Firearms, which announced in November the establishment of headquarters in Lagrange, Georgia. A spokesman for Remington Ammunition owner Vista Outdoor, based in Anoka, Minnesota, said the meeting was attended by a former Remington Outdoor Co. company, not Vista Outdoor or Remington Ammunition.
At a news conference announcing the settlement, Koskaf showed an ad for Remington, which he said attracted young troubled young people such as Adam Lanza, a 20-year-old man who committed Shooting Sandy Hook. Lance used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle manufactured by Remington, which legally belonged to his mother. He killed his mother at their home in Newtown before going to school.
The advertisement contained messages including “Consider Your Men’s Card Reissued” and “Clean the Room, Cover the Roof, Save the Hostage.”
Coscaf said Remington targeted young men at risk in advertising and posting products in tough video games. The lawsuit said that the company’s advertising played a role in school filming, but did not specify details.
Lance had serious mental health problems that were exacerbated by the fact that, combined with his concerns about violence and access to weapons, his mother “proved the recipe for mass murder,” according to a report by a Connecticut child advocate.
Since the 10th grade, Lanza’s mother kept him at home, where he was surrounded by an arsenal of firearms and spent long hours playing tough video games, the report said. His medical and school records included references to diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, although psychiatrists say these conditions are not indicative of future violence.
Robert Spitzer, a professor of political science at New York State University in Cortland and author of five books on weapons policy, said the case would force arms manufacturers to carefully consider their marketing. Speaker, a member of the National Rifle Association and the Arms Control Advocacy Group, said his main goal was to explore all sides of the arms debate.
Speaker said the Remington case is a clear warning “to other arms companies that produce assault weapons, not to build up or emphasize military history, weapons qualities like Rambo. It would be madness for them to continue selling these weapons, emphasizing these values, because they would obviously open up to such lawsuits. ”
The National Shooting Foundation, a Newtown-based gun industry group, said Sandy Hook’s family had never provided evidence that Remington’s advertising had affected Lanza. The fund estimates that more than 20 million AR-15-style rifles have been sold in the United States and claims that few are used in crime.
According to the latest FBI crime statistics, of the 13,600 firearms used in the 2020 killings, about 450 were rifles; more than 8,000 weapons were used.
However, AR-15-style rifles were used in many notorious mass shootings, including Sandy Hook, 2017 Massacre in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded hundreds, and in School Shooting in 2018 in Parkland, Florida, killing 14 students and three staff members.
According to Koskaf, Remington’s marketing of its AR-15-style rifles prior to the Sandy Hook shooting has boosted arms sales nationwide. He said only about 100,000 AR-15s were sold annually in the U.S. in the mid-late 2000s, but by 2012 their number had risen sharply to more than 2 million, he said.
He and Sandy Hook’s family have accused private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management, which bought Remington in 2007, of being more concerned with profit than security, seeking to increase rifle sales. A message was left for the company to comment.
Cerberus, as the owner of Remington, was responsible for shifting the company’s focus from traditional hunting rifles to AR-15-style rifles and for the resulting marketing campaigns, Coscaf said.
“They used tactics of fear and toxic masculinity and looked more powerful, and their documents speak of their target audience as military,” Hockley said. “This is not to say that this (settlement) will somehow stop firearms manufacturers. It’s about responsibility in your marketing. “
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed without permission.