Sandy Hook families renew legal push against gun maker

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"They marketed the weapon for exactly what it was", Koskoff said in court on Tuesday, adding that Remington even used product placement to get its product in first-person-shooter video games played by Lanza.

A passionate fight for some Sandy Hook families continues in Supreme Court on Tuesday as they push to hold the gun maker of the rifle used in the shooting responsible.

The rifle was used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly five years ago.

A lower CT court judge agreed with Remington and dismissed the lawsuit in October 2016, citing the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that shields gun makers in most cases from liability over criminal use of their products.

The legal landscape of suing firearms manufacturers has been mixed, with some lawsuits failing and others succeeding.

The plaintiffs' attorneys appealed to the state's Supreme Court, arguing for an exemption to the act through a claim of "negligent entrustment".

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The company has also argued that the question of whether the AR-15 should be sold to the public should be dealt with by legislators rather than juries. They also believe the sale of the gun to civilians is negligent because it is primarily "designed for our armed forces and engineered to deliver maximum carnage".

"In the military, a weapon of this time is subject to strict rules about its use and storage", said Ian Hockley, whose son Dylan was one of the victims. But, Hockley said, while the military takes great care of controlling its weapons, the manufacturers actively market them to unstable people.

Koskoff read marketing materials from Bushmaster, which said its AR-15-style rifle is "the uncompromising choice when you demand a rifle as mission-adaptable as you are". "You can't launder negligence through other parties", said Koskoff.

Families of nine victims who were killed and a teacher who survived the December 14, 2012, massacre filed the lawsuit in January 2015 seeking to hold Remington liable, arguing it marketed the AR-15 to the public even though it knew the weapon was designed for military use.

"We're not just hearing from plaintiffs the law needs to adapt", said Vogts. "Under the law. the manufacturer and the sellers of the firearm used by the criminal that day are not legally responsible for his crimes and the harm that he caused". In court, he argued that people most commonly use this type of rifle for deer hunting. "We, the plaintiff families of the victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre, have infinite patience to see justice done".

The nation is watching the case closely because if the families succeed, and the state Supreme Court allows it to move forward, it could lead to a flood of lawsuits against gunmakers.

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