- A Connecticut judge said on Thursday that he would allow a lawsuit aginst the makers of the AR-15 used in the Sandy Hook shooting to go to trial.
- Lawyers representing Bushmaster Firearms International claimed that the suit should be thrown out because of immunity granted to them by a 2005 law.
- The law shields any and all firearm manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits.
- The case being allowed to go to trial is a pretty clear publicity stunt by the judge and families of the victims that won’t make it past another court.
A judge in Connecticut on Thursday declined to dismiss a lawsuit brought against the maker of the assault-style rifle used in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 26 people, most of them children, dead.
Lawyers representing the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used by Adam Lanza, the assailant at the Newtown school, argued that the suit should be thrown out because of immunity provided by a 2005 law that shields firearm manufacturers and dealers from liability lawsuits.
But in her ruling, Judge Barbara Bellis of State Superior Court rejected the argument.
The lawsuit, which was filed last year by nine of the families of people killed and a teacher who was injured, claimed that Bushmaster Firearms International bore responsibility for selling and marketing a military-style weapon to untrained civilians, creating an “unreasonably high risk” it would be used in a mass shooting. The lawsuit contended that the weapon’s utility for sporting and self-defense was “negligible in comparison to the risk that the weapon would be used in its assaultive capacity,” according to court records.
“We are thrilled that the gun companies’ motion to dismiss was denied,” said Josh Koskoff, a lawyer representing the families. “The families look forward to continuing their fight in court.”
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Lawyers for Bushmaster Firearms could not immediately be reached.
The assailant’s mother, Nancy Lanza, bought the gun in 2010; she was also killed by her son. During the rampage on Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mr. Lanza, 20, killed 20 first-grade students and six adults before killing himself.