HARTFORD, Conn. – The lawsuit filed against Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012, was dismissed Friday by a Connecticut judge.
The families wanted to hold Remington accountable for selling what is called a semi-automatic rifle that is too dangerous for the public because it was designed as a military killing machine.
In December 2014, a lawsuit was filed by some of the victims’ families saying the AR-15 military-style rifle used in the attack should not have been sold to the gunman’s mother, Nancy Lanza because it had no reasonable civilian purpose.
However, Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis invoked a federal law known as PCLAA – Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which provides immunity for gun manufacturers and distributors against lawsuits if their firearms were used in crimes.
Connecticut judge dismisses Sandy Hook families' suit against gunmaker https://t.co/33TJVmcda0
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) October 14, 2016
The families argued that the gun maker marketed and sold the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to civilians despite the knowledge that it posed a risk. The families sought an exemption through the claim of “negligent entrustment.”
Bellis said that the suspect, Adam Lanza, 20, criminally misused a weapon which means the action “falls squarely within the broad immunity provided by PLCAA,” adding that the arguments presented by the families do not fit within the definition of negligent entrustment.
Many reacted to the result differently including U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a prominent voice in the fight for gun control:
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 14, 2016
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) October 14, 2016
Great news that the #SandyHook case against Remington was tossed. It was complete nonsense, and the parents should be ashamed of themselves.
— Eleutharias Frome (@WallingfordDude) October 14, 2016
— Sightation?? (@sightation) October 15, 2016
It's incomprehensible that our laws would protect gun makers over Sandy Hook families. We need to fix this. https://t.co/96uBe92wPi
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 15, 2016
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting occurred on December 14, 2012, in Newtown, Connecticut, when Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adult staff members. Prior to driving to the school, Lanza shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home. As first responders arrived at the scene, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Jonathan Whitcomb, an attorney for Remington Arms, declined to comment.
Apart from Remington, other defendants in the lawsuit include firearms distributor Camfour and Riverview Gun Sales, the store where Lanza bought the rifle used in the shooting.
Sandy Hook is the third-deadliest mass shooting in the United States following Virginia Tech with 32 people killed in April 2007, and 49 murdered earlier this year in the Orlando nightclub shooting.
The families’ lawyer, attorney Josh Koskoff, vowed an immediate appeal of Friday’s ruling. He said: “While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, this is not the end of the fight. We will appeal this decision immediately and continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”