Sandy Hook Parents Sue Remington, Gun Manufacturer Wants Lawsuit Dismissed

A Connecticut judge will likely rule this week on a motion brought by gun manufacturer Remington to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a group of parents and families of kids (and adults) killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Massacre, MSN is reporting.

On December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza began a fatal shooting rampage by killing his mother, then proceeding to nearby Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. There, he shot and killed 20 small children, as well as six adults, before turning his gun on himself when he heard police sirens coming.

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A makeshift memorial to the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

In December 2014, a group of parents and families of victims sued gun manufacturer Remington, and its subsidiary, Bushmaster, for manufacturing and marketing the AR-15 rifle – one of the guns used by Lanza in the shooting. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Remington, as well as an injunction against selling the rifle in the future.

Nicole Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed in the shooting, spoke in front of Hartford courthouse hearing the motion on Monday, according to NPR News. She told reporters that Adam Lanza chose the Remington weapon for a specific reason.

“There were a lot of guns the shooter could have chosen from his arsenal and he chose the AR-15 because he knew it would kill as many people as possible as fast as possible.”

The weapon at the center of the lawsuit is officially known as the Bushmaster XM 15-E2S, a semi-automatic rifle modeled on the AR-15 platform. Manufactured byMaine-based Remington subsidiary Bushmaster, the rifle is marketed as a sport or hunting rifle. Plaintiffs in the Sandy Hook lawsuit, however, claim it’s a military assault weapon that has no business in civilian hands.

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Bushmaster XM15-E2S M4 Style Carbine, the type of gun used by Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza. [Image courtesy of Mika Jarvinen via Wikimedia Commons by CC BY 2.0]

According to CNN, Lanza used the high-powered weapon to fire 154 rounds in about five minutes.

Jackie Barden was one of the parents who lost a child that day.

“Each of the kids had three to eight bullets in them. There is just something wrong if that can happen.”

Joshua Koskoff, an attorney representing the families, wants Remington held accountable for what happened that day.

“Our families deserve that day in court. We believe they should be accountable to their fair share of responsibility.”

However, the lawsuit has faced an uphill battle since before the ink had even dried. The main issue is a 2005 law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. That law is intended to shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits when their products are used in criminal acts.


There are some exceptions to the law, WSHU reporter Katie Toth explained to NPR.

“One is negligent entrustment — or if a seller supplies a gun to someone when they know that person will likely use the gun to hurt people. The victims’ families are accusing Remington of negligent entrustment. They say the weapon that was used in the shooting massacre was a military-style weapon and that it should have never been sold to civilians.”

If the judge rejects Remington’s arguments, the case will move forward to a discovery, or fact-finding phase, and one step closer to a possible trial.

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting, Connecticut passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the country. Those laws include banning some 100 different styles of military-grade assault weapons, and limiting magazines to ten rounds.

Do you believe Remington should be held liable for the actions of the Sandy Hook shooter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Photo by John Moore/Getty Images]