A lawyer for relatives of some Newtown school massacre victims has asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to reinstate a lawsuit against gun maker Remington Arms, saying a rifle made by the company and used in the shooting was too risky to sell to the public.
Lanza (20) used a Remington AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, a semi-automatic civilian version of the USA military's M-16, to kill 20 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.
The lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, was dismissed in 2016 by a lower court.
They're trying to sue Remington Arms, the North Carolina company that made the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. "They used images of soldiers in combat".
"The weapon he needed for his mission was never in doubt", he said of the AR-15. Opponents say easy access to guns is to blame for continued mass shootings in the USA, including the October 1 massacre of 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas and the slaughter just a month later of 26 people in a Texas church. They also were used in the Columbine High School and Aurora movie theater shootings in Colorado.
The case is being watched by gun rights supporters and gun control advocates across the country as one that could set a precedent in cases accusing gun-makers of being responsible for mass shootings. Several groups, including the National Rifle Association and emergency room doctors, submitted briefs to the court.
In dismissing the suit last October, a judge cited federal law protecting gun manufacturers from litigation if their products are used during a crime. James Vogts, lawyer for Remington, says the company is protected by the 2005 Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that shields gun makers from liability in shootings. That led to the Supreme Court appeal. The families' lawsuit alleges that the company should have known that mass shootings might occur as a result of selling such rifles to civilians.
The company denies the lawsuit's allegations that it violated state law by selling such a risky weapon to the public.
Plaintiffs say the law does not apply here.
"Remington may never have known Adam Lanza but they had been courting him for years", Koskoff said. Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother at their Newtown home before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed himself as police arrived. He got it for his 18th birthday ... remember he was 14 years old when they started this marketing plan.
Remington's lawyer, James Vogts, told the CT court that the families' claims, first filed in 2014, are barred by the 2005 law.
"What happened that morning was horrific".