A gun control group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of victims and survivors of the 2019 synagogue mass shooting near San Diego, California, claiming they negligently and unlawfully designed and marketed the attacker’s assault rifle.
The 19-year-old gunman terrorized Chabad of Poway Synagogue on April 27 last year, killing one worshiper, and injuring three others with his Smith & Wesson Model M&P 15 Sport II semiautomatic rifle.
When confronted by members of the congregation John Earnest fled then called the police admitting to committing a hate crime and was later apprehended.
The gun control group claims the company falsely associated the weapon with the military and law enforcement i ,marketing campaigns.
A lawsuit filed Monday argues that a gun manufacturer marketed a weapon so it was attractive to ‘young men predisposed to violence’. Shooting suspect John Earnest, 19, is pictured April 30, 2019
John Earnest killed one worshiper and injured three others at Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego, California on April 27, 2019
He used a Smith & Wesson Model M&P 15 Sport II semiautomatic rifle. Gun control group Brady United claims the company falsely associated the weapon with military and law enforcement
The Monday filing says the weapon was marketed in violation of California’s unfair business practices law, in order to make it attractive to customers who they claim like the shooter, are ‘young men predisposed to violence’.
The lawsuit from Brady Legal, which represents Brady United, complains the weapon can be easily modified into an assault weapon or to fire automatically, which is in violation of California law.
The suit also alleges that San Diego Guns, the dealer that sold the weapon, violated California law by transferring it to the shooter although he was underage and did not present a California hunting license that was in effect. They state the hunting license that he presented was not yet in effect.
The suspect killed Lori Kaye, a founding member of the three-decade-old congregation ‘on the spot’. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was shot in the hand during the Passover service last year and lost a finger.
The other two wounded were eight-year-old Noya Dahan and her uncle, 34-year-old Almog Peretz who were struck by shrapnel.
Their family had moved to the United States in search of a safer life after their home in Sderot on the Gaza border was hit several times by Palestinian rocket attacks.
Brady United, says the weapon can be easily modified into an assault weapon or to fire automatically, which is in violation of California law
The suspect killed Lori Kaye, a founding member of the three-decade-old congregation ‘on the spot’
Eight-year-old Noya Dahan and her uncle, 34-year-old Almog Peretz were struck by shrapnel
The suit seeks monetary relief and an injunction demanding that all parties reform their business practices.
‘We are bringing this action to save lives, so that no other congregation or family of any faith will have to endure what ours has,’ the plaintiffs said in a statement.
‘We invite Smith & Wesson to speak with us about concrete ways that it can change its business practices so that it can continue to sell firearms to those who want them, while acting responsibly to prevent tragedies like the shooting at our temple.
‘If Smith & Wesson were to promptly agree to the safe, responsible actions we propose, we would drop the lawsuit against them tomorrow, without being paid a dime.’
Similar claims against Remington Arms Co. were upheld in a lawsuit brought by victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.
Brady has represented victims of gun industry negligence for over 30 years, and has won over $60million in settlements and verdicts in cases brought by Brady for victims and survivors.
Brady is representing victims and survivors. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein lost a finger in the attack. The plaintiffs say if Smith & Wesson were to promptly agree to the safe, responsible actions, they would ‘drop the lawsuit against them tomorrow’
Oscar Stewart, who chased off the gunman inside the synagogue, speaks with members of the media in front of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Sunday, April 28