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Judge Refuses to Dismiss Sandy Hook Relatives' Lawsuit Against Gun Maker

Image: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Sandy Hook Relatives' Lawsuit Against Gun Maker
The Bushmaster rifle used by Adam Lanza at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. (Getty Images) 

Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 03:50 PM

A judge in Connecticut denied a motion by the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle maker to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 10 families of victims of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Freedom Group, the Madison, N.C., parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, argued it was protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

But Judge Barbara Bellis ruled the law doesn't prevent lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook from arguing the AR-15 is a military weapon and shouldn't have been sold to civilians.

"We are thrilled that the gun companies' motion to dismiss was denied. The families look forward to continuing their fight in court," Josh Koskoff, one of the lawyers representing the families, said in a statement.

The Sandy Hook case names Remington Arms Co., the manufacturer of the weapon, as well as Camfour Inc., a distributor of firearms, and Riverview Gun Sales, the now-defunct dealer in East Windsor, Conn., that sold the rifle to the shooter’s mother in 2010, Newsweek reports. 

The federal law has been a controversial issue in the Democratic presidential race, with front-runner Hillary Clinton blasting rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for supporting the law when he a House member; Clinton, as a senator from New York, voted against it, Newsweek notes.

Bellis’s decision came just hours before the Democratic contenders face off in a debate in Brooklyn ahead of New York state's April 19 primary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A judge in Connecticut denied a motion by the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle maker to dismiss a lawsuit brought by 10 families of victims of the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
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Thursday, 14 Apr 2016 03:50 PM
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