In a somewhat stunning decision, SkyNews reports that a US judge has ruled that the families of victims in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School can sue the maker of the weapon used in the attack, arguing the Bushmaster rifle is a military weapon that should not have been sold to civilians.
Gun companies had sought to reject the negligence and wrongful death lawsuit filed two years after the attack by nine victims’ relatives and a survivor.
But Connecticut Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis said a 2005 federal law protecting gun-makers from lawsuits does not shield the companies from legal action in this case.
She ruled that lawyers for the victims’ families can still argue the semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.
The legal action names Remington Arms, maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, model XM15-E2S, as well as the distributor and seller.
A lawyer for the families, Josh Koskoff, welcomed Thursday’s news that the lawsuit can proceed.
“We are thrilled that the gun companies’ motion to dismiss was denied,” he said.
“The families look forward to continuing their fight in court.”