World News

Court hears appeal in lawsuit against gun maker in Newtown massacre case

Court hears appeal in lawsuit against gun maker in Newtown massacre case

Family members of the children and adults killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre asked Connecticut's highest court to revive their lawsuit against Remington Arms Co., the maker of the AR-15 assault weapon used in the attack.

Lanza, who killed 20 first-graders and six educators with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S on December 14, 2012, was obsessed with violent video games and idolized the Army Rangers, attorney Joshua Koskoff said. "Adam Lanza heard their message", Koskoff told the justices Tuesday. I think they knew exactly what they were doing. "They used images of a soldier in combat, they used slogans invoking high-pressure missions".

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.

The case is being watched by gun rights supporters and gun control advocates across the country as one that could set a precedent in cases accusing gun-makers of being responsible for mass shootings.

The National Rifle Association has filed one of 16 Amicus Curiae, or "friend of the court" briefs in the case.

At issue is a 2005 federal law that exempts gun-makers from liability when their products are used in crimes and two exceptions to the law. The case was thrown out by a lower court previous year, when a judge sided with Remington's position that gunmakers are immune to the lawsuit because of a provision in the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

More news: R100k fine for Manana plus community service

The plaintiffs' attorneys appealed to the state's Supreme Court, arguing for an exemption to the act through a claim of "negligent entrustment". The families' lawsuit alleges that the company should have known that mass shootings might occur as a result of selling such rifles to civilians.

The company denies the lawsuit's allegations that it violated state law by selling such a unsafe weapon to the public. Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother at their Newtown home before going to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed himself as police arrived. "Under the law. the manufacturer and the sellers of the firearm used by the criminal that day are not legally responsible for his crimes and the harm that he caused". He said the lawsuit isn't allowed under the federal law.

"What happened in the school that morning was horrific", Vogts said. He added, "The law needs to be applied dispassionately". "The rifle sold to Nancy Lanza were not among banned rifles that were not lawful", Vogt told the packed courthouse. They have the same defence arguments as Remington.

Families of nine victims who were killed and a teacher who survived the shooting sued.

"We have not lost one ounce of confidence in the justness in our case", said Ian Hockley, who lost his son, Dylan.