Sandy Hook Families on Gun Maker: 'Lanza Heard Their Message'

Sandy Hook Families on Gun Maker: 'Lanza Heard Their Message'

Sandy Hook Families on Gun Maker: 'Lanza Heard Their Message'

Connecticut's highest court heard arguments Tuesday over whether the families of victims of the Sandy Hook school massacre can revive their lawsuit against the company that made the rifle that Adam Lanza used to kill 20 schoolchildren and six adults in 2012. Lanza also killed his mother before the school shooting.

On Tuesday, those families were back in court, asking Connecticut's highest state court to reverse the decision, looking to hold the makers of the AR-15 Bushmaster liable for wrongful death and negligence.

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.

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A Bushmaster rifle lies on the ground at Sandy Hook Elementary School following the December 14, 2012, shooting rampage in an evidence photo released by Connecticut State Police.

The families of nine of the victims and one survivor have said manufacturer Remington Arms Company Inc [REARM.UL], along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, should be held responsible for the carnage at the Newtown, Connecticut, school because they marketed the weapon based on its militaristic appeal.

Lawyers for the family members asked the court to revive the suit that was dismissed previous year by Judge Barbara Bellis in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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USA corporations, argued the plaintiffs, have a duty to look out for public safety.

In dismissing the suit last October, a judge cited federal law protecting gun manufacturers from litigation if their products are used during a crime. "No matter how much we wished those children and teachers were still alive, the law needs to be applied", Vogts told justices.

Millions of Americans all across the country own the same type of weapon for legitimate hunting, target practice and home defense purposes, he said.

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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.

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