The Connecticut Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for a lawsuit to go ahead against Remington - maker of the AR-15 Bushmaster rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre - giving families who lost loved ones in the shooting a chance to hold the gunmaker liable.
The ruling is a major blow to Remington and the gun manufacturing industry, which sought complete immunity.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation - the firearm industry’s trade association - said it was reviewing the decision and neither it nor Remington had any immediate comment.
The families of nine of the victims and one survivor have said Remington, along with a gun wholesaler and local retailer, are partially responsible for the massacre at the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school because they marketed the weapon based on its militaristic appeal.
20-year-old Adam Lanza used the semi-automatic Remington rifle to kill 20 children between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members on Dec.
He then killed himself.
One of the lawyers for the victims’ families, said in a statement:“The families’ goal has always been to shed light on Remington’s calculated and profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users, all at the expense of Americans’ safety.
Today’s decision is a critical step toward achieving that goal.” Legal experts have said any appeal of the ruling by the gunmaker would likely be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court.