UNITED STATES NEWS

High-capacity magazine supplier sued in FedEx mass shooting

Apr 13, 2023, 1:52 PM

The son of a man killed in a 2021 mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility filed a federal lawsuit Thursday with two of the survivors against the distributor of the 60-round magazine used by the gunman, alleging the use of reckless marketing tactics targeting young men at risk for violent behavior.

The lawsuit — filed almost exactly two years after the shooting that killed eight people — alleges that American Tactical, Inc. failed to take steps to help prevent dangerous people from obtaining the high-capacity magazine, which allow shooters to fire dozens of rounds without having to reload.

Instead, the lawsuit says the company specifically targeted its products to a “consumer base filled with impulsive young men who feel they need to harm others in order to prove their strength and who have militaristic delusions of fighting in a war or a video game.” It points to action-movie-style marketing videos that were posted on American Tactical’s YouTube page featuring men firing round after round in tactical vests — similar to one worn by the FedEx facility shooter.

“American Tactical, Inc. is well aware that these magazines are instruments of mass killing and have no problem marketing them directly to people with horrific intentions,” said Gurinder Singh Bains. whose father, Jaswinder Singh, died in the shooting.

“This isn’t a hypothetical. My father is gone because they didn’t care they were enabling mass shooters. They have to be held accountable not just for my father’s sake but everyone who may still suffer what my family and I have been forced to go through,” he said in an emailed statement.

The complaint also names as defendants the president of American Tactical, the company’s marketing director, as well as Schmeisser GmbH — the German manufacturer of the high-capacity magazine — and 365 Plus, the global distributor.

A person who answered the phone for American Tactical said the company had no immediate comment. Email seeking comment was sent to Schmeisser GmbH and 365 Plus. An email seeking comment was also sent to FedEx, which is not a party in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York, where a law passed in 2021 opened the door to civil cases brought against the gun industry by classifying the illegal marketing and sale of firearms as a “public nuisance.”

The firearms industry has said that manufacturers aren’t at fault when people misuse their products, drawing a comparison to other products, like cars, that can also be used to hurt people.

Gunmakers are typically immune from lawsuits over crimes committed with their products under federal law, but survivors and families are increasingly seeking to hold the industry accountable by following in the footsteps of families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. They won a $73 million settlement from gunmaker Remington over marketing practices.

Last year, survivors of the mass shooting at a suburban Chicago Independence Day parade and family members of those killed similarly sued the maker of the AR-style semiautomatic rifle the gunman used to fire more than 100 rounds.

In addition to Jaswinder Singh’s son, other plaintiffs include two people who survived the shooting. Harpreet Singh was standing in line to pick up his paycheck when he was shot in the head. Lakhwinder Kaur was going to help a coworker who was slumped over when a bullet lacerated her arm, according to the lawsuit.

The 19-year-old gunman, Brandon Scott Hole, began firing randomly at people in the parking lot of the FedEx facility on April 15, 2021, killing four, before entering the building, killing four more people and then turning the gun on himself. The eight FedEx employees killed included four members of Indianapolis’ Sikh community.

The lawsuit says the shooter needed the high-capacity magazine to “accomplish his mission to kill and terrorize as many people as possible.” He was emboldened by “knowing he had the ability to fire 60 rounds continuously without the need to pause to reload,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit says American Tactical was obligated to take measures to minimize the risk that dangerous people like the shooter could obtain the product. Instead, anyone — “regardless of age, criminal history, or mental health history” — can buy high-capacity magazines like the one used by Hole directly from American Tactical’s website, the complaint says.

“Gun manufacturers and distributors know that high capacity magazines are favored by mass shooters due to their ability to kill as many people as possible, therefore American Tactical should have enacted reasonable safeguards to prevent such magazines from falling into the hands of those who should not have them,” said Kris Brown, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which helped bring the lawsuit.

“They failed to do so, and these families are paying that price,” she added in her statement.

____

Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press reporter Lindsay Whitehurst contributed from Washington.

United States News

Associated Press

Man who followed woman into her NYC apartment and stabbed her to death pleads guilty to murder

NEW YORK (AP) — A man pleaded guilty to murder on Tuesday for stabbing a woman to death after following her from the street into her lower Manhattan apartment building. Assamad Nash, 27, also pleaded guilty to burglary as a sexually motivated felony in the Feb. 13, 2022, attack on 35-year-old Christina Yuna Lee. “Today […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Vermont lawmaker apologizes for repeatedly pouring water in her colleague’s bag

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Republican state lawmaker from Vermont has apologized for repeatedly pouring water into a Democratic colleague’s bag, after he caught her doing it on video. State Rep. Mary Morrissey publicly apologized to state Rep. Jim Carroll, colleagues and the citizens of Vermont from the House floor on Monday. Both are from […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Google to invest another $2.3 billion into Ohio data centers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Google will invest an additional $2.3 billion to support three data center campuses in central Ohio, the company announced Tuesday. The tech giant has centers in New Albany and Lancaster and one under construction in Columbus to help power its services such as search, Gmail, maps, cloud and YouTube for users […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Massachusetts suffers statewide outage of its 911 services

BOSTON (AP) — The 911 system across Massachusetts went down Tuesday afternoon, making it impossible for anyone to reach emergency services. “The State 911 Department is aware of a disruption to the 911 system and is investigating the cause,” the state’s Office of Public Safety and Security said in a statement. Boston Police Commissioner Michael […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

15-year-old girl shot to death hours before her middle school graduation, authorities say

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with fatally shooting a 15-year-old girl hours before she was scheduled to attend her middle school graduation in Massachusetts, authorities said. Not guilty pleas were entered in court Tuesday on behalf of Trevor Bady. He was arraigned on charges of of murder, armed […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Montana canal siphon splits open, flooding area and threatening local farming industry

BABB, Mont. (AP) — Montana state officials were scurrying Tuesday to stop flooding caused by the breakage of a century-old pipe used to deliver drinking water to 14,000 residents and carry irrigation water to farms. No injuries or deaths have been reported since the pipe split open Monday, causing flooding in the rural area east […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

High-capacity magazine supplier sued in FedEx mass shooting