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Sandy Hook Parents' Remington Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Gun Maker Accountable

Image: Sandy Hook Parents' Remington Lawsuit Seeks to Hold Gun Maker Accountable
In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds up a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during a hearing of a legislative subcommittee, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Connecticut. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 08:48 AM

The Remington gun makers behind the Newtown shooter's AR-15 are reportedly seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the parents of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Connecticut state Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis presided over a hearing to dismiss Monday and indicated she will decide within 60 days whether to grant the defendants' motion, the Hartford Courant reported. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of nine victims' families and a school administrator who survived the Dec. 14, 2012, attack that left 26 people, including 20 children, dead.

Remington Arms Co., distributor Camfour, and Riverview Sales Inc., the dealer that sold the Bushmaster AR-15 to suspect Adam Lanza, are all named in the suit, according to the Courant.

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed in 2005, and it protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from civil liability when their guns are used in crimes, the newspaper said. Since then, nearly every lawsuit filed against gun manufacturers has been dismissed.

According to NBC Connecticut, the current wrongful death lawsuit
argues that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used by Lanza in the crime should never have been sold publicly because it is a military weapon. The lawsuit was originally filed in December 2014.

"Defendants know that, as a result of selling AR-15s to the civilian market, individuals unfit to operate these weapons gain access to them," the lawsuit states. "And defendants know that the AR-15 military firepower, unsuited for home defense or recreation, enables an individual in possession of the weapon to inflict unparalleled civil carnage."

"Despite that knowledge, defendants continue to sell the XM15-E2S rifle to the civilian market," it continues.

The parent company of the AR-15, the Freedom Group, of Madison, North Carolina, has argued that even with the plaintiff's current argument, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act still protects them against lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

UCLA law professor Adam Winkler told the Hartford Courant that the family's argument, though, is "innovative" and may be able to win the hearing. But, he said, it would still be a longshot to win the lawsuit.

"The purpose of PLCAA was to shut down lawsuits against gun manufacturers and it has gone a long way towards doing just that," he said.

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The Remington gun makers behind the Newtown shooter's AR-15 are reportedly seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the parents of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
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2016-48-23
Tuesday, 23 Feb 2016 08:48 AM
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