US gun maker facing Sandy Hook lawsuit

A file image of an AR 15 assault rifle, like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. (Wikipedia)

A file image of an AR 15 assault rifle, like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre. (Wikipedia)

Family members of some of the 20 first-graders killed in Sandy Hook are bringing a lawsuit against the maker of the gun used in the massacre.

Lawyers for the company that made the rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 are expected to ask a Connecticut judge to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by families of some of the massacre victims.

Freedom Group, from North Carolina, parent company of AR-15 maker Bushmaster Firearms, says it’s protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

A Bridgeport Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments on Monday afternoon.

The lawsuit by families of nine children and adults who died and a teacher who survived alleges the Bushmaster AR-15 is too dangerous to sell to the public.

They say they’re suing under an exception to the 2015 law.

‘No lawsuit will ever bring back any of the 26 innocent lives that were stolen or bring peace to the families that will never recover from this,’ said Nicole Hockley, a plaintiff whose son, Dylan, was killed.

‘But gun companies must be held accountable for marketing and selling the AR-15, a killing machine designed only for military use, to violence-prone young men.

‘We’re bringing this lawsuit to save other families from having to live with the nightmare that we do every single day.’

State police say the 20-year-old gunman, Adam Lanza, killed his victims with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle, a model of the AR-15, on December 14, 2012.

Lanza killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home before going to the school a few kilometres away, and then killed himself as police arrived.

Nancy Lanza legally bought the rifle.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers argue in the lawsuit that the Bushmaster rifle used in the shooting is too dangerous to sell to the general public.


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