The lawsuit, filed by anti-gun group Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence last year, accused Lucky Gunner and Sportsman’s Guide of failing to properly screen Holmes before selling him the murder weapons. The plaintiffs included the parents of one of the victims.
Senior District Judge Richard Matsch ruled that the gun sellers were not a “substantial factor” in the tragedy.
“Holmes meticulously prepared for his crime, arriving at the theater equipped with multiple firearms, ammunition, and other gear allegedly purchased from several distinct business entities operating both online and through brick and mortar locations,” Matsch wrote. “Neither the web nor the face-to-face sales of ammunition and other products to Holmes can plausibly constitute a substantial factor causing the deaths and injuries in this theater shooting.”
Matsch’s ruling cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which was created to protect arms manufacturers and retailers from liability for harm caused by a third party with their products.
Matsch also ruled that the plaintiffs pay the defendants’ legal fees, which might reach a quarter of a million dollars.