Families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre asked a court on Tuesday to revive a lawsuit against Remington Arms Company over whether the gun manufacturer bears any responsibility for the mass shooting, Bloomberg reported.
Twenty children and six adults were killed when gunman Adam Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., with an AR-15 in December 2012. 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 weapon he needed for his mission was never in doubt,” the families’ attorney Josh Koskoff said. “Remington may never have known, but they had been courting him for years. The courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart of this case.”
Ian Hockley, who lost his 6-year-old son in the shooting, said Remington “could not care less” what damage is caused by the weapons it sells.
“The manufacturer of the Bushmaster takes no such precautions when unleashing their product in the civilian market,” Hockley said, according to Bloomberg.
“They could not care less what happens to their guns once the cash is in the bank, showing their utter disregard for the lives this weapon takes.”
The case was dismissed in 2016 by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who ruled the company was protected by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which shields gun manufacturers from being held liable for crimes committed with their weapons.
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. But defense attorneys contend that the exception is used for gun sellers, not manufacturers.
The 2012 massacre was “solely by the criminal misuse of a weapon by Adam Lanza,” Bellis wrote in last year’s ruling.
“This action falls squarely within the broad immunity provided by PLCAA.”