Topline

Lawyers representing the father of a 10-year-old student killed in the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 dead, filed a letter on Friday seeking answers from Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the rifle used in the shooting, regarding the company’s controversial marketing techniques and any communication it had with the shooter.

Highlights

Lawyers for Alfred Garza, the father of Amerie Jo Garza, have filed a motion asking Daniel Defense to preserve evidence, including marketing plans for its AR-15 assault rifles, marketing plans for its products among adolescents and children, online shopping systems, social media campaigns. , publicity and “your incitement and encouragement to the aggressive use of these weapons”.

Alfred Garza is represented by Texas attorneys Mikal Watts and Charla Aldous, and Connecticut attorney Josh Koskoff, who previously sued gunmaker Remington, maker of the gun used in the elementary school massacre of Sandy Hook in 2012, securing a $73 million settlement for nine families of victims.

Emilia Marin, a speech-language pathology assistant at Robb Elementary School, filed a similar motion on Thursday asking the court to compel Daniel Defense officials to sit for a deposition and produce documents.

Salvador Ramos, the shooter in the Uvalde shootout, legally bought two assault rifles a few days after his 18th birthday, but only brought a Daniel Defense DDM V7 rifle to school.

Daniel Defense made his Twitter account private shortly after the shooting and deleted his most recent post, which depicted a young boy holding a Daniel Defense gun with the caption: “Train a child in the way he should follow, and when he is old. , he will not deviate from it,” a reference to a biblical proverb, followed by a prayer emoji.

Daniel Défense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Forbesbut a statement posted on its website says the company is saddened by the tragic events in Texas and that “our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act.”

To monitor

The letter is likely a precursor to a lawsuit that could seek to hold Daniel Defense responsible for the shooting, but the company could be shielded from liability under the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act. The law, passed in 2005 following extensive lobbying by the National Rifle Association, protects firearms manufacturers from liability when their products are used in criminal acts. President Joe Biden called for the repeal of the law in a speech Thursday and urged Congress to ban assault rifles.

crucial quote

“My purpose of being now is to honor the memory of Amerie Jo,” Garza said in a statement. “She wants me to do everything I can to make sure this never happens to another child again. I have to fight her.

Key context

Daniel Defense is one of the nation’s largest private firearms manufacturers, and CEO Marty Daniel said Forbes in 2017, consumer sales accounted for 90% of its total sales. Daniel said Forbes in 2017, sales jumped after the Sandy Hook shooting, noting that the company “doesn’t use this terrible stuff to drive sales” but when “people see politicians start talking about gun control to fire,” they become fearful and “go out and buy guns. Daniel Defense pulled out of the NRA convention last weekend — which was supposed to start days after the Uvalde shooting — because it was too soon after the shooting where one of its products was ‘used for criminal purposes.’Texas Governor Greg Abbott also canceled his in-person appearance, but former President Donald Trump delivered his scheduled speech .

Further reading

Daniel Defense—maker of the rifle used by Uvalde’s killer—is hiding after much criticism (Forbes)

Uvalde shooting timeline: A student pleaded with 911 to “send the police now” as officers at the scene awaited the arrival of tactical units (Forbes)