Giffords Law Center Statement in Support of Sandy Hook Families’ Lawsuit

November 14, 2017— Today, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence released a statement in support of the request by families of victims killed at Sandy Hook Elementary that the Connecticut Supreme Court allow their lawsuit to go forward. Giffords Law Center previously issued abrief in support of the families’ arguments before the court, which will hear arguments in the case today.

The lawsuit, Soto v. Bushmaster,  involves claims by the families against the sellers and maker of the assault weapon used in the shooting. The families’ lawsuit claimed that the marketing and sale of the assault weapon violated Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA). After the Connecticut Superior Court ruled the families lacked the standard to sue under CUTPA because they were not in a ‘business relationship’ with the defendants, the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear their appeal.

Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Giffords Law Center:

“We stand with the families of those who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School who are still seeking their day in court after nearly five years. The Connecticut Supreme Court has a chance to send a strong message to the manufacturers of the weapons used at Sandy Hook. We hope that it will rule that makers of assault weapons can’t hide behind immunity laws to avoid accountability when their products are used to inflict unspeakable carnage, whether it involves innocent first graders, concert goers, or those who seek to pray in peace.”

The brief from Giffords Law Center argues that requiring a business relationship for standing under CUTPA conflicts with the decisions of courts in a number of other states, which have interpreted similar trade practices laws to confer standing on all parties injured by violations.


For nearly 25 years, the legal experts at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.