The Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a blow to the gun industry Tuesday by permitting a lawsuit to proceed against the maker of the AR-15-style weapon used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 26 dead.
The justices denied a bid from firearms manufacturer Remington Arms, which argued that it should be protected by a 2005 federal law that aims to prevent most lawsuits against gunmakers when their weapons are used in crimes.
The order allowed a survivor and relatives of nine victims of the horrific Dec. 14, 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, to pursue their lawsuit.
The papers, filed in 2014, charged that Remington Arms never should have sold a weapon as dangerous as the Bushmaster AR-15 style rifle to the public.
Then 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza, who also fatally shot his mother, used the rifle to slay 20 first-graders and six educators at the school before he committed suicide.
The suit also alleges that the North Carolina-based company targeted younger at-risk men in marketing in violent video games.
Remington’s ads, the suit says, “continued to exploit the fantasy of an all-conquering lone gunman.”
“The families are grateful that the Supreme Court upheld precedent and denied Remington’s latest attempt to avoid accountability,” Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, said in a statement.
“We are ready to resume discovery and proceed towards trial in order to shed light on Remington’s profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users at the expense of Americans’ safety.”
Previously, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the lawsuit could continue, citing an exemption in the federal law.
That decision overturned a ruling made a trial court judge who threw out the suit on the basis of the 2005 law known as Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
The National Rifle Association, which supported Remington in the case as well as other gun rights groups, called the lawsuit “company killing.”
The case will now go to trial in Connecticut.
With Post wires
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