Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Sandy Hook families renew legal push against gun maker

Sandy Hook families renew legal push against gun maker

Families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre asked a court on Tuesday to revive a lawsuit against Remington Arms Company over whether the gun manufacturer bears any responsibility for the mass shooting, Bloomberg reported. James Vogts, lawyer for Remington, says the company is protected by the 2005 Lawful Commerce in Arms Act that shields gun makers from liability in shootings. But the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear the case a week after the families filed their first appeal.

Remington's lawyer argued the federal law prohibits the lawsuit.

The statute, backed by the National Rifle Association, has helped the industry defeat similar cases, with the Sandy Hook suit perhaps the highest-profile example.

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.

IMAGE Bushmaster rifle
Sandy Hook families argue in court gun companies 'courted' shooter

The killings at the Sandy Hook elementary school in CT - which claimed the lives of mostly children aged between six and seven in less than five minutes shortly before Christmas - shocked America and reignited the national debate about gun control.

Josh Koskoff, lawyer for the victims' families, compared it to "the Ford Motor Company advertising a vehicle that can run over people" and said that kind of advertising attracts "dangerous users", including Lanza. "And the courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart if this case". But defense attorneys contend that the exception is used for gun sellers, not manufacturers. "No matter how much we wished those children and teachers were still alive, the law needs to be applied", Vogts told justices.

After the hearing, Ian Hockley - whose son Dylan was killed - told reporters: "We, the plaintiff families of the victims of the Sandy Hook School massacre, have infinite patience to see justice done and utmost faith in the legal system to serve the people it is meant to protect".

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