Families Of Sandy Hook Victims Allowed To Sue AR-15 Manufacturer, Judge Rules

AR-15 rifles are displayed on the exhibit floor during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Friday, May 20, 2016. The nation's largest gun lobby, the NRA has been a political force in elections since at lea
Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
 

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Sandy Hook victims' families can move forward with a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the AR-15-style gun used by the shooter in the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school attack.

 

"The court ruled that the Sandy Hook families should have the opportunity to prove that Remington violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) by marketing what it knew was a weapon designed for military use to civilians," reported the Hartford Courant.

In 2012, a mass shooter used his mother's legally-purchased AR-15 to massacre 20 first graders, six educators, and his mother.

As noted by The Wall Street Journal, "The ruling allows the plaintiffs to move forward with their claims that Remington Outdoor Co. violated Connecticut’s law against unfair trade practices by allegedly promoting the rifle as a combat weapon intended for waging war and killing human beings."

"[I]t falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet," justices wrote in the majority decision.

The plaintiffs' lawsuit claimed the AR-15 used in the 2012 massacre "had been marketed as a weapon of war, invoking the violence of combat and using slogans like 'Consider your man card reissued,'" noted The New York Times. "Lawyers pointed out advertising — with messages of combat dominance and hyper-masculinity — that resonated with disturbed young men who could be induced to use the weapon to commit violence," the outlet added.

 

In 2017, Joshua D. Koskoff, a lawyer representing the victims' families, argued that “Remington may never have known [the shooter], but they had been courting him for years."

Notably, the weapon used by the shooter was legally purchased by the man's mother, who was murdered by her son on the day of the massacre.

The shooting "was a tragedy that cannot be forgotten," argued James B. Vogts, a lawyer for Remington. “But no matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and those damages not suffered, the law needs to be applied dispassionately."

 

"There is no need for a legal re-examination of the law," said Vogts. "Under the law, the manufacturer of the gun used by the criminal that day isn’t responsible legally for his actions."

A Connecticut judge ruled last month that Infowars host Alex Jones will have to undergo a sworn deposition in the defamation case brought against the host by relatives of the victims in the Sandy Hook shooting.

"Discussions on Jones' web show have called the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre a hoax, and lawsuits by families of eight victims and a first responder say they've been subjected to harassment and death threats from Jones' followers," reported NBC News, adding: "Jones has defended the discussions on his show. He has cited First Amendment rights and says he believes the shooting happened."

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