Court Rules Sandy Hook Victim Families Can Sue Manufacturer That Made Rifle Used In Shooting
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday that families of the 26 victims murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting can sue the gun manufacturer who made the rifle used by the shooter.
The ruling was a divided 4-3 decision that allowed families of the victims to proceed with a wrongful death suit that was originally filed in 2015 but thrown out by a lower court in 2016. Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority. (RELATED: Legendary Gun Manufacturer Remington Files For Bankruptcy)
“The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers,” Palmer wrote.
The lawsuit alleges that gun manufacturer Remington glorified the AR-15 weapon and marketed it to young people, which led to 20 children and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary being gunned down by Adam Lanza.
Lanza used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle during the shooting, which the plaintiffs argue is a similar weapon to the AR-15. (RELATED: Lawsuit Claims AR-15 Advertisements Caused Sandy Hook Shooting)
“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,” Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the Plaintiffs said Thursday, according to USA Today. “Today’s decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal.”
The 2005 “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” protects “civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others,” which the defense has argued protects the gun manufacturer from being sued.