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CT Supreme Court Hears Case Against Gun Maker In Sandy Hook Massacre
15 November 2017, 04:39 | Erica Roy
Connecticut Supreme Court hears arguments in Newtown shooting case
A passionate fight for some Sandy Hook families continues in Supreme Court on Tuesday as they push to hold the gun maker of the rifle used in the shooting responsible.
The families say 20-year-old killer Adam Lanza would never have been able to carry out his 264-second attack if he had not had access to a high-capacity weapon which had been "specifically engineered" for military use in combat.
It is a somewhat novel legal argument the families hope will help them overcome a federal law enacted by U.S. Congress in 2005 to shield gun manufacturers from liability for how their products are used.
The attorney for the 10 families, Josh Koskoff, argued the gun maker can be held responsible under a legal concept called negligent entrustment, which applies when the supplier knows, or should know, the user is likely to harm others, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported. "And the courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart if this case". Lanza also killed his mother before the school shooting.
According to police, Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR15 assault rifle five years ago when he killed 26 children and teachers.
The Sandy Hook families' case rests on whether the company negligently entrusts a buyer with a weapon, which is an exception to the federal law.
Josh Koskoff, lawyer for the victims' families, compared it to "the Ford Motor Company advertising a auto that can run over people" and said that kind of advertising attracts "dangerous users", including Lanza.
Lawyers for the family members asked the court to revive the suit that was dismissed past year by Judge Barbara Bellis in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied", Vogts told the court.
But James Vogts, an attorney for Remington, argued that the 2005 law is clear: Manufacturers and sellers aren't liable when their weapons work the way they're created to work.