Sandy Hook Families on Gun Maker: 'Lanza Heard Their Message'

Sandy Hook Families and Remington Arms Will Face Off in CT Supreme Court

A lawyer for families who lost loved ones in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting told Connecticut's highest court on Tuesday (local time) that Remington Outdoor Co should be held responsible because its military-themed marketing was created to appeal to young men like killer Adam Lanza.

The families of nine victims who were killed and one teacher who survived are part of the lawsuit which argues that Remington, the parent company of the manufacturer, Bushmaster, knowingly marketed a military weapon to civilians.

A lower court threw out their case previous year.

Lanza (20) used a Remington AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, a semi-automatic civilian version of the U.S. military's M-16, to kill 20 schoolchildren between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

When Adam Lanza prepared for his massacre on the morning of December 14, 2012, he put on tactical gear, taped 30-round magazines together and reached for a weapon that Remington should never had made available to him, plaintiffs attorney Josh Koskoff told the panel of judges Tuesday in Hartford.

He said Lanza "heard the message" and "was driven" to the Bushmaster "for his lone gunman combat mission".

According to Reuters, the weapon Lanza used was a Remington AR-15 Bushmaster rifle, which it described as a civilian version of the military's M-16.

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"What we have here is the conduct of a corporation that thought it was above the law and still thinks its above the law", said lawyer Joshua Koskoff.

"That's how negligent entrustment works".

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 lawsuit, which was filed in 2015, was dismissed in 2016 by a lower court.

"They marketed the weapon for exactly what it was", Koskoff said in court on Tuesday, adding that Remington even used product placement to get its product in first-person-shooter video games played by Lanza.

"If you're selling cars you have to prepare for the fact people will use them illegally, crash them, drive intoxicated", he said. "But no matter how much we wished those children and teachers were still alive, the law needs to be applied". But defense attorneys contend that the exception is used for gun sellers, not manufacturers. A federal ban on such weapons was passed in 2004 and expired a decade later.

Ian Hockley, father of slain first-grader Dylan Hockley, said other plaintiffs have "not lost one ounce of confidence in the justice of our case" and they have the "utmost faith in the legal system to serve the people it's meant to protect". The firearm Lanza used was purchased legally by his mother, Nancy, who was a licensed gun owner.

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