Supreme Court Ruled Remington Gunmakers Can Be Sued Over Sandy Hook Shooting

Jessica Hill | AP

The gun industry suffered a stinging setback as Connecticut's top court said families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre could sue Remington Arms Co. over its marketing of military-style Bushmaster weapons. In reinstating a case that a lower court dismissed in 2016, the court seemingly adopted the families' novel way around a federal law that protects the gun industry from liability. Gun rights supporters bashed the decision as judicial activism and overreach.

"A Bushmaster product catalog shows soldiers moving on patrol through jungles, armed with Bushmaster rifles", the lawsuit notes.

"The regulation of advertising that threatens the public's health, safety, and morals has always been considered a core exercise of the states' police powers", Palmer wrote.

Several lawsuits over mass shootings in other states have been rejected because of the federal law.

While the court on Thursday reaffirmed that the gun maker enjoys protection under the act, it ruled that the plaintiffs, families of the nine victims of the massacre and a teacher who survived the bloodshed, are entitled to sue the companies for the alleged violation of marketing rules.

The Connecticut Supreme Court today ruled in favor of ten Sandy Hook families in their groundbreaking lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the AR-15 used in the 2012 Newtown shooting.

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, has provided the USA firearms industry an nearly impenetrable defence against lawsuits by victims of mass shootings and gun violence, broadly shielding Remington and others such as American Outdoor Brands Corp, Sturm Ruger & Co and Vista Outdoor Inc from liability stemming from such incidents.

Remington did not immediately respond yesterday to a request for comment.

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Worshipper Syed Mazharuddin, who lost two of his friends in the attack, said: "This guy came through the main entrance door". Facebook said it had deleted the gunman's accounts "shortly after the livestream commenced" after being alerted by police.

"We have no timeline for any comments to be made on the subject", spokesman Eric Suarez wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

Three dissenting judges argued that the federal gun maker shield law did not include such an exception.

"I am thrilled and tremendously grateful", Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was killed at Sandy Hook, told the New York Times. He fatally shot her with the gun before beginning the attack at the school.

Connecticut's child advocate said Lanza's severe and deteriorating mental health problems, his preoccupation with violence and access to his mother's legal weapons "proved a recipe for mass murder". "We wanted our day in court".

Instead, it would depend on the justices' interpretation of the broader legal question of whether federal courts should generally be allowed to interfere in state law, experts said.

"It's a wow moment in American legal history", he said. The case was then moved up to the state's highest court, and the decision to move forward was issued Thursday. They contend that the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza on December 14, 2012 is too unsafe for the public.

FILE - In this January 28, 2013, file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model used by Adam Lanza in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting, during a hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn.

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