New court filings shed light on the type of information that may come to light in the case against Remington Arms by Sandy Hook families.
Plaintiffs, operating under the theory that the gun maker’s advertising efforts had been influential on the man responsible for the school shooting, asked for documents that discuss and explain ways in which Remington marketed AR rifles to consumers before Dec. 14, 2012.
According to court documents filed recently, Remington has agreed to at least 11 requests that pertain to business relationships, marketing strategies, firearms training, and sales records.
Some documents will demonstrate the relationship between Remington and Bushmaster Firearms and another defendant, distributor Camfour, Inc. Before the shooting, the firearms conglomerate operated under the name Freedom Group. Now, the company as a whole, representing more than a dozen brands, operates under the name Remington Outdoor Company.
Others will reveal Remington’s strategies for marketing AR-style rifles. The company agreed to share docs that concern “branding, marketing, and/or sale” of the firearms as “modern sporting rifles.” They’ll reveal demographics Remington targeted with its ads as well as how video games were used to promote the weapons. Also, documents discussing ads that characterize ARs as suitable for home defense or as gifts.
Remington agreed to submit a training manual as well as related materials in response to a request for information on the “storage, sharing, transfer, gifting, transport and/or re-sale” and “training and instruction” of AR-style rifles and the Bushmaster XM15.
Lastly, the gun maker agreed to share records concerning the volume of sales of AR-15-style rifles between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 14, 2012.
Remington rejected at least six other requests on the basis that the company either didn’t have the information or the request had already been addressed on the record elsewhere.
Whether or not the documents will be made public has not yet been answered. Attorneys for Remington argued last week to seal the documents. They said disclosing them would hurt the gun maker financially and benefit competitors. The hearing followed a request for a protective order.
In May, the judge presiding over the case denied Remington’s effort to delay the discovery process, which would force the company to submit the documents, because the delay would unnecessarily prolong the trial.
Plaintiffs filed suit in December 2014, arguing ARs — the civilian version of standard U.S. military rifles — are weapons of war and should not be sold to civilians. They argue Remington knew the military aspect would entice the gun owning public and the carnage it could cause.
At the Newtown school on Dec. 14, 2012, the gunman fired 154 rounds in less than five minutes and killed 20 first-graders and six educators, according to the final report by state authorities.