Sandy Hook Remington lawsuit ruled liable enough to move forward


A Connecticut judge ruled on Thursday, April 14 that the Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against the gun manufacturer Remington was viable enough to move forward.

The law, according to Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, “does not prevent lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims from arguing that the AR-15 semi-automatic is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians,” as reported by The Associated Press.

Remington, which manufactured the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle that was used in the December 2012 Sandy Hook shootings, had originally sought to have the class action lawsuit dismissed partially on the basis that it violated the 2005 Federal Protection of Lawful Commerce Arms Act (PLCAA), but the plaintiffs are claiming that the company was negligent in selling and marketing a military-style weapon.

“All firearms, like all vehicles, are not created equal,” Josh Koskoff, a Bridgeport attorney currently representing the Sandy Hook Families, said during an interview with Inklings in March of 2016. “The gun that was found on the floor of Vicki Soto’s classroom 10 — an AR-15 — was designed specifically for the United States military for the purposes of killing the most people in the shortest amount of time with the greatest efficiency.”

The lawsuit seeks both damages and an injunction against selling the XM15-E2S rifle. According to Scott Wilson Sr., President of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, this case may open the door for litigation against firearm manufacturers and retailers across the nation, effectively handicapping an entire industry.

Jonathan Alter ’17 agrees, in part, with Wilson. “I do not see this as being the fault of the manufacturer that is adhering to the regulations that the U.S. has implemented,” Alter said. Alter instead places blame on “loose gun restrictions” themselves for the gun violence seen in America today.

Professor John Thomas from Quinnipiac University School of Law, in an Inklings interview in March of 2016, however, said that the public should ask  “why the firearms industry has received immunization from liability in civil litigation when the automobile, pharmaceutical and power tool industries have not.” Although Thomas does have his doubts over the validity of this particular lawsuit.

Both sides are due back in court on Tuesday.