The parents of a Seattle woman killed in the Las Vegas mass shooting have filed the first lawsuit blaming gun manufacturers for the country music festival carnage.
Carrie Parsons, 31, was one of the 58 victims mowed down by a man using modified assault rifles to spray bullets with machine gun-style speed out of his Mandalay Bay hotel room on Oct. 1, 2017.
“Our precious daughter was murdered, and it’s only because of guns,” grieving dad Jim Parsons told Seattle’s KIRO-TV.
“All I know is assault weapons have no place in this society. Machine gun have no place in this society,” he said.
The Parsons family said they’re not seeking to ban all guns or change the Second Amendment.
Mom Ann-Marie Parsons told the station, “This is about assault weapons, high-capacity magazines.”
The 27-page lawsuit filed late Tuesday in District Court in Clark County, Nev., names Colt Manufacturing as the lead defendant among seven other manufacturers of AR-15-style guns and ammunition.
It invokes Al Capone’s infamous 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre as one of the reasons machine guns are now illegal and claims manufacturers have “knowingly designed” their products to let buyers get around the ban with gadgets such as bump stocks, a plastic accessory that enables repeated firing up to 800 rounds per minute.
Katie Mesner-Hage, one of the Parsons family’s lawyers who also represents Sandy Hook families in their battle against Remington, said the makers are choosing profits over public safety.
“We know that they know these guns can be easily modified. It’s a selling point. They call them ‘modular’ and promote their interchangeable components. Their knowledge isn’t in doubt,” she told the New York Daily News on Tuesday.
“They’re taking that marketing approach to a weapon designed for the military, knowing the bump stock is out there. It’s reckless, profit-driven and irresponsible,” she said.
The lawsuit filed against Remington by 10 Sandy Hook families claims the company violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act when it advertised and marketed the assault rifle used in the school massacre as a military-style weapon.
The Parsons family’s lawsuit claims Colt and the other defendants violated the federal ban on machine guns.
It gives a harrowing account of Carrie Parsons’ final minutes, saying she held her friend’s hand as they tried to flee the hailstorm of bullets and was fatally shot from behind in the shoulder.
She was no match for the shooter, who “moved through his arsenal, unleashing automatic fire” in a scene reminiscent of “Vietnam,” the lawsuit states.
“On the day Carrie was supposed to visit wedding venues, she was buried with the bouquet she had chosen to carry down the aisle,” the lawsuit states.
Attempts to reach Colt for comment were not successful Tuesday.
“The AR-15 is fun and thrilling to shoot. When that fun is weighed against the large number of innocent lives it has taken, it has no place in civilian life,” Richard Friedman, another lawyer representing the Parsons family in the new lawsuit, told the Daily News.
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