Supreme Court Ruled Remington Gunmakers Can Be Sued Over Sandy Hook Shooting

Families of Sandy Hook shooting victims can sue gunmaker Remington over 2012 attack, court says

The attack just before Christmas left 20 school children and six staffers dead.

The lawsuit points out that even before the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the AR-15 style rifle was notorious as a symbol of mass shootings. Children at Sandy Hook Elementary will attend a school in a neighboring town until authorities decide whether or not to reopen their school.

CT law, the court wrote in the majority opinion, "does not permit advertisements that promote or encourage violent, criminal behavior".

The Connecticut Supreme Court accepted a lawsuit against Remington Outdoor Co on Thursday, giving the families of nine of the victims the chance to hold gun makers liable for the horrifying mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut seven years ago.

Lanza used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle during the shooting, which the plaintiffs argue is a similar weapon to the AR-15.

The attacker in the December 14, 2012, shooting took the Bushmaster rifle from his mother, killed her, then took the AR-15 and other stolen guns to school and killed 26 others.

The lawsuit has reignited the debate on whether gunman Adam Lanza's obsession with violent video games was a major contributing factor in his decision to go on a shooting rampage in real life.

The firearms company had convinced a lower court that a federal law enacted in 2005 limited the liability of firearms manufacturers and dealers, essentially pre-empting wrongful death suits in state and federal courts.

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The court's narrow decision, overturning a lower court judge, rules that Remington can be sued over its marketing practices under a CT state law, despite protections offered to gun manufacturers by federal law.

The lawsuit, which lists Bushmaster Firearms International as the defendant, has already overcome years worth of legal hurdles after first being filed more than four years ago, more than two years after the shooting at the CT school left 26 people dead. He shot his mother to death in their Newtown home beforehand, and killed himself as police arrived at the school.

"That lethality, combined with the ease with which criminals and mentally unstable individuals can acquire an AR-15, has made the rifle the weapon of choice for mass shootings, including school shootings", the decision says. They argue the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza was designed as a military killing machine and is too unsafe for the public, but Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people.

"The families' goal has always been to shed light on Remington's calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users, all at the expense of Americans' safety", said Josh Koshoff, a lawyer for the victims' families. "Today's decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal".

The court, echoing claims by the families, emphasized the lethality of the AR-15 style rifle, saying that it is created to "deliver maximum carnage with extreme efficiency".

The case had been closely watched by advocates on both sides of the gun issue. Several groups, ranging from the National Rifle Association to emergency room doctors, submitted briefs to the court.

It also concluded that CUPTA lawsuits are not barred by a federal law that generally protects gun suppliers from civil liability for crimes committed with their products.

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