A judge is poised to decide whether a lawsuit filed over the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 can continue. Lawyers for gun manufacturer Remington Arms are seeking a dismissal, saying the company is protected from such suits by federal law.
The lawsuit was initially filed in state court in Connecticut in December of 2014, two years after 20 children and six adults were gunned down at the elementary school in Newtown, Conn. It then went to a federal court before being shifted back to a state court last fall, in what’s seen as a possible advantage for the plaintiffs, who are acting on behalf of 10 victims.
The lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction against selling the AR-15 rifle; it names Remington and its related corporate entities, including Bushmaster Firearms, which manufactured the weapon used by Adam Lanza.
Some of the parents whose children died at Newtown spoke outside the courthouse Monday, including Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed.
“There were a lot of guns the shooter could have chosen from his arsenal and he chose the AR-15,” Hockley said, according to the Hartford Courant, “because he knew it would kill as many people as possible as fast as possible.”
Remington and its parent company say they can’t be sued for the criminal use of their products, citing immunity rendered by the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act.
“But there are some exceptions to this law,” Katie Toth of member station WSHU reports for NPR’s Newscast unit:
“One is negligent entrustment — or if a seller supplies a gun to someone when they know that person will likely use the gun to hurt people. The victims’ families are accusing Remington of negligent entrustment. They say the weapon that was used in the shooting massacre was a military-style weapon and that it should have never been sold to civilians.”