Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families to Pursue Lawsuit Against Rifle Maker

Remington Arms Co. sold and marketed the semi automatic weapon used in the 2012 mass shooting that left 26 dead.

The Supreme Court denied Remington Arms Co.’s request to block a lawsuit issued against it by several Sandy Hook families. As the maker and promoter of the firearm used in the 2012 mass shooting, many say that Remington should be held responsible for the deaths.

The families first filed the lawsuit in 2014, saying that Remington violated Connecticut’s unfair trade practices and “knowingly marketed and promoted the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle for use in assaults against human beings.”

A 2005 federal law protects gun manufacturers from lawsuits pertaining to wrongful death incidents involving their products, but the lawyers for the families are contending that the semi automatic weapon used on the Sandy Hook victims was "designed as a military weapon" and "engineered to deliver maximum carnage" with extreme efficiency, and was marketed toward civilians.

The suit faced both federal and state courts for years and was eventually dismissed by Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis in 2016. But this March, the state’s Supreme Court renewed the families’ right to pursue the lawsuit.

The December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut resulted in the deaths of 20 first grade children and six staff members. The weapon the gunman used was sold to his mother.