Federal ban on bump stocks now in effect

A federal ban on bump stocks -- attachments that essentially allow shooters to fire semiautomatic rifles continuously with one pull of the trigger -- will start March 26, 2019.

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A Las Vegas judge has allowed a class-action lawsuit against Slide Fire Solutions, LP to move forward in Nevada District Court on behalf of a 1 October shooting victim, according to court documents.

The suit was initially filed on Oct. 6, 2017, but on Sept. 17, 2018, the court granted Slide Fire's motion to dismiss without prejudice, allowing the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.

According to court documents, the amended complaint was filed in District Court on Sept. 26.

The suit alleges that Slide Fire unlawfully marketed and sold bump stocks to Stephen Paddock before he committed the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Slide Fire filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was granted and denied in part.

The court ruled that the plaintiffs had "plausibly alleged a claim for negligence against Slide Fire," court documents said. The claim was allowed to proceed.

The plaintiffs alleged that Slide Fire had violated the Nevada Deceptive Trade Practices Act by falsely representing the safety and nature of its products, such as suggesting that bump stocks were approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Explosive, court documents said.

The court held that Slide Fire knowingly broke the law applicable to the sale or marketing of firearms and the shooting by proxy, based on the plaintiffs' allegations, according to court documents.

Slide Fire was provided no defense under the Lawful Commerce in Arms Act against the plaintiffs' claims, court documents showed.

The company claimed there was no legal basis to establish that it "had a legal duty to market a bump stock solely as a device to help individuals with limited mobility," court documents said. The plaintiffs allege in their claim that Slide Fire had obtained a favorable evaluation from the ATF by representing bump stocks as a way to help a person with limited mobility in their hands.

In 2010, Slide Fire said it sent a letter to the ATF, explaining how bump stocks can assist with mobility. According to court documents, when ATF reviewed the device, it concluded the device did not need to be regulated as a firearm under the National Firearms or Gun Control acts.

Under the misrepresentation to the ATF claim, the plaintiffs allege that Slide Fire "represented the true purpose behind bump stocks - to convert a semi-automatic weapon into one with the capability of a fully automatic weapon," court documents said. If that claim had been expressed in Slide Fire's letter to the ATF, the plaintiffs said the agency would have enacted stricter regulations for bump stocks.

Slide Fire retorted that its marketing of bump stocks wasn't a consideration in its 2010 letter to the ATF approving the sale and manufacturing, according to court documents.

However, the court ruled there was no plausible argument against Slide Fire on negligent affliction of emotional distress (NIED), distress under a theory of bystander liability, negligent products liability, strict products liability, false advertising under the Lanham Act, deceptive trade practices under Nevada law, private nuisance and negligent entrustment of a dangerous instrument claims.

According to court documents, these claims against Slide Fire were dismissed without prejudice.

Under the NIED claim, the court determined the plaintiffs did not allege a relationship "between the victims and themselves," court documents said. Nevada law imposes strict limitations on relationships that may give rise to claim of NIED bystander liability.

The court said it also concluded that the direct victim needed to be able to assert a negligence claim that includes emotional distress as part of the damage suffered, as well as intentional wrongdoing.

According to court documents, while the claim was dismissed, it did not "foreclose recovery of emotional distress with plaintiff's negligence claim."

Copyright 2019 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved 

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