Court hears appeal in Newtown shooting case

Elias Hubbard
November 14, 2017

On Tuesday, lawyers representing the families of several victims of the 2012 Newtown school shooting will ask Connecticut's Supreme Court for a chance to sue Remington, the company that makes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting.

The high court heard arguments Tuesday about whether justices should overturn a lower court's dismissal of the lawsuit filed by a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school.

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.

The case centers on a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle made by North Carolina-based Remington and a 2005 federal law that shields gun makers from liability in most cases.

"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost, and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied dispassionately", says James Vogts, attorney for Remington Arms.

A lower court dismissed the lawsuit previous year, ruling that a federal law protects the gun manufacturer.

The packed courtroom in Hartford, Connecticut, included numerous victims' family members.

The families said Lanza was part of that demographic and cited media reports saying he previously expressed a desire to join the army.

The families say 20-year-old killer Adam Lanza would never have been able to carry out his 264-second attack if he had not had access to a high-capacity weapon which had been "specifically engineered" for military use in combat.

"What we have here is the conduct of a corporation that thought it was above the law and still thinks its above the law", said lawyer Joshua Koskoff.

"The manufacturer and the sellers of the firearms used by the criminal that day are not legally responsible", Vogts said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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