(June 4): The father of a 10-year-old girl killed in Uvalde, Texas, at a shooting school and a school employee have taken initial steps that could lead to lawsuits against Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the semi-automatic rifle used in the last week-long massacre that killed 21 people.
Lawyers for Alfred Garza, father of Robb Elementary School student Amerie Jo Garza, asked Daniel Defense in a letter on Friday to provide information about his marketing to teens and children.
“We ask that you start providing us with information now, rather than forcing Mr. Garza to take legal action to obtain it,” the letter reads.
No charges have yet been announced against Daniel Defense in connection with the shooting.
Daniel Defense of Black Creek, Georgia, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 18-year-old Uvalde shooter, Salvador Ramos, stormed the school on May 24 and killed 19 students and two teachers before being killed by law enforcement, authorities said.
He legally bought his first gun on his 18th birthday on May 17.
Josh Koskoff, Garza’s attorney, led the case in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which led to a $73 million settlement by gunsmith Remington in February. It marked the first major settlement regarding a mass shooting against a gunsmith, who is protected by federal law from prosecution.
“Sandy Hook in Connecticut isn’t binding on the Texas court, but that doesn’t mean it lacks soft power,” Koskoff said.
Koskoff told Reuters he was applying what he learned from the Sandy Hook case to his ongoing investigation, focusing on marketing to children and teens and product placements in shooter video games. to the first person.
“The shooter, basically the day he turned 18, he knew exactly what guns he was getting,” Koskoff said.
In a separate lawsuit, school employee Emilia Marin filed documents in Texas state court seeking an order to depose Daniel Defense and force the company to turn over documents, also related to her marketing. Marin is listed as a speech therapist clerk on the school’s website.
Marin’s filing late Thursday is a petition that allows one party to begin investigating potential claims.
Firearm manufacturers are generally protected from prosecution for criminal use of their firearms by a federal law called the Protection of Lawful Arms Trade Act, or PLCAA.
However, the Connecticut Supreme Court in 2019 ruled that arms company Remington Arms could be sued by the families of Sandy Hook victims under a PLCAA exception because arms manufacturer Remington allegedly violated the state marketing laws.