Families of the victims killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre will be in Hartford, Conn., this week as their case against the manufacturer of the weapon used by the shooter is heard before the state’s highest court.
Their lawsuit has drawn national attention as a successful appeal could pose a serious threat to gun companies, reports The New York Times.
The families of the 2012 shooting are suing Remington, a distributor and retailer, for selling the AR-15, "a weapon that was designed for our armed forces and engineered to deliver maximum carnage" to civilians.
Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza used his mother's AR-15 to kill 28 people nearly five years ago, including 20 first-grade students and six educators. The gun industry in the past has been shielded by federal law from being held liable for crimes committed with its guns.
But Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled in April that federal law "does not prevent lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims from arguing that the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians."
The National Rifle Association and National Shooting Sports Foundation have both filed briefs on behalf of Remington while Brady Center Against Gun Violence, a group of trauma doctors and the state’s attorney general's office have filed briefs on behalf of the victims' families.
The families, according to one of their lawyers Katie Mesner-Hage, said they had taken a "long view," realizing that they are "raising important, complicated issues — and important, complicated issues take time and there's a longer trajectory to get to the end."
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