Connecticut Supreme Court Hears Sandy Hook Shooting Case
Some families from the Sandy Hook, CT school shooting are in court to hold the gun maker accountable.
A lawyer for families who lost loved ones in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting told the Connecticut Supreme Court that Remington Outdoor Co should be held responsible because its military-themed marketing was designed to appeal to young men like Adam Lanza.
Lanza used a Remington AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, a semi-automatic civilian version of the U.S. military’s M-16, to kill 20 school children between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012.
The Connecticut Supreme Court will now decide whether the families of nine of the victims and one survivor can proceed with a trial seeking to hold Remington, along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, responsible for the shooting based on its marketing, reported Reuters.
"The families are advancing a somewhat novel legal argument in hopes of overcoming a federal law enacted by U.S. Congress in 2005 to shield gun manufacturers from liability for how their products are used," Reuters said. "A lower court judge agreed with the gun maker and dismissed the families’ lawsuit in 2016. But the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear the case a week after the families filed their first appeal," the Reuters report said.
“Remington may never have known [Sandy Hook shooter] Adam Lanza, but they had been courting him for years,” said Josh Koskoff, an attorney for the Sandy Hook plaintiffs, and reported by MSN.
Lawyers for the gun companies emphasized the the seller was not responsible for the shooting, which was done with a rifle that had been legally purchased by Lanza’s mother, reported MSN. “No matter how tragic, no matter how much you wish those children and their teachers were not lost, their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied dispassionately,” James Vogts, the attorney for Remington Arms, a major gun manufacturer, told the court. “The sellers of the firearm used by the criminal that day are not legally responsible for his crime and the harm that he caused.”
According to the Newtown Patch, "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."