Victims allege American Tactical, Inc. unlawfully marketed the high-capacity magazine used in workplace mass shooting
Washington, D.C., April 13, 2023 – Today, victims and families of victims of the 2021 Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting filed a lawsuit against American Tactical, Inc., the distributor of the high-capacity magazine (HCM) used in the mass shooting, where thirteen people were shot, eight fatally. American Tactical, Inc. President Tony DiChario and Marketing Director Joe Calabro, along with the magazine manufacturer Schmeisser GmbH, were also named in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are represented by Philip Bangle at Brady and Leslie Mitchell Kroeger of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
As the exclusive importer of Schmeisser magazines, the complaint alleges, American Tactical, Inc. marketed, distributed, and sold the high capacity magazine used by the gunman in the FedEx mass shooting. Despite knowing that mass killers are attracted to high capacity magazines to carry out mass shootings, American Tactical, Inc. deliberately marketed and sold the 60-round magazine used in the attack.
"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. They failed to do so, and these families are paying that price," said Kris Brown, president of Brady.
“High-capacity magazines have no business in civilian hands,” said Philip Bangle, senior litigation counsel at Brady. “If you decide to sell such highly lethal products to the general public anyway, you need to be very careful about who you’re selling them to. As we allege in our complaint, Defendants here have instead taken a hard turn and specifically marketed their highly lethal products to a dangerous class of individuals.”
“American Tactical, Inc.’s high capacity magazine used in the FedEx mass shooting had 60 rounds, two to three times the killing capacity of standard magazines,” said Leslie Mitchell Kroeger, partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll. “American Tactical, Inc. sold these high capacity magazines without a single safeguard, screening or limit in place, despite knowing that they are unreasonably dangerous to sell to the civilian public. It is clear that the Defendants put profits from high capacity magazines ahead of people, which came at the grave expense of the victims and victims’ families of the FedEx mass shooting.”
Despite a clear duty to take every reasonable step to minimize the likelihood of an unlawful act of violence, the lawsuit contends, American Tactical, Inc. failed to implement any protocols or safeguards to prevent dangerous individuals, like the FedEx shooter, from acquiring the HCM. Additionally, when American Tactical, Inc. and the other Defendants marketed the HCM, they knew or should have known of the existence of a category of consumers containing individuals like the shooter, who would be attracted to such a weapon accessory and could pose a tremendous risk to the safety of others.
“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, son of Jaswinder Singh who died in the FedEx shooting and a plaintiff in the case. “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.”
Rather than recognize the clear risk of marketing HCMS, American Tactical, Inc. published several marketing videos in the style of violent video games and action movies, featuring men wearing tactical vests. Notably, during the mass shooting, the gunman wore a tactical vest nearly identical to the gear used in American Tactical, Inc.’s video advertisement.
The lawsuit is available here.
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