Daniel Defense responds to Uvalde parent suit alleging gunmaker's marketing 'enabled shooting'

Georgia-based gun manufacturer Daniel Defense has responded to a lawsuit filed on Monday that alleges the company unfairly marketed the weapon used by the shooter that killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.

Everytown Law, along with Texas law firm LM Law Group PLLC, filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sandra Torres, the mother of Eliahna Torres, who was killed in the mass shooting. The lawsuit names multiple defendants alleged to have enabled or exacerbated the shooting, including Daniel Defense.

In a statement issued on Friday, Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel called the lawsuit "frivolous," accusing it of blaming his company for the shooting rather than the actual shooter.

Previous reporting: CEO of Bryan-based Daniel Defense defends marketing tactics before House Oversight Committee

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Also: Gun used in Texas school shooting made by Bryan County's Daniel Defense

"This lawsuit is yet another in a growing line of blatant and legally unfounded attempts to bankrupt the firearm industry," Daniel said in the statement. "We reject and will vigorously defend against these politically motivated attempts to blame Daniel Defense for the criminal actions of others, as well as undermine your means of self-defense secured by the Second Amendment."

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The complaint alleges that Daniel Defense "used militaristic imagery to target vulnerable and violent young men and to suggest that civilian consumers can use Daniel Defense weapons the way service members are sometimes asked to: to engage in offensive combat missions directed at other humans."

The complaint further alleged that "Daniel Defense furthered this message and sought out their target audience by using various social media platforms and touting their association with popular video games like 'Call of Duty.'"

Sandra Torres, the mother of a girl who was one of 19 students and two teachers killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, poses for a photo at her attorney's office, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in San Antonio, where she filed a federal lawsuit against the school district, police, city and the maker of the gun used in the slaying.
Sandra Torres, the mother of a girl who was one of 19 students and two teachers killed in the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, poses for a photo at her attorney's office, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in San Antonio, where she filed a federal lawsuit against the school district, police, city and the maker of the gun used in the slaying.

“The shooting in Uvalde was a horrific tragedy – and wholly preventable,” Eric Tirschwell, executive director of Everytown Law, said in a statement.

“The massacre that killed Eliahna Torres and 20 others that day wasn’t just an act of one violent, troubled young man armed with an assault rifle. There are several actors responsible for putting the gun in his possession and failing to protect the children he attacked. This lawsuit is intended to hold them accountable.”

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Daniel previously defended his company's marketing tactics before a U.S. House of Representatives Oversight Committee in July, echoing his above statement regarding the Uvalde shooting as "acts...committed by murderers and murderers are responsible."

The lawsuit also accuses the City of Uvalde, the school district and several police departments of a “complete failure” to follow active shooter protocols and violations of the victims’ constitutional rights by “barricading them” inside two classrooms with the killer for more than an hour.

Marty Daniel is the founder of Daniel Defense.
Marty Daniel is the founder of Daniel Defense.

Zach Dennis is the editor of the arts and culture section, and weekly Do Savannah alt-weekly publication at the Savannah Morning News. He can be reached at zdennis@savannahnow.com or 912-239-7706.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Georgia gun manufacturer responds to lawsuit from Uvalde parent