By Joe Dziemianowicz / March 14, 2019

Supreme Court Ruled Remington Gunmakers Can Be Sued Over Sandy Hook Shooting

A wrongful marketing claim is allowed to proceed.

A sign stands near the site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting on the day of the National School Walkout on March 14, 2018 in Sandy Hook Connecticut. Several hundred students at the school, near the site of the Sandy Hook school massacre of December 14, 2012, staged a protest one month after 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Media and visitors were not allowed on the Newtown High campus for the event.  (Getty Images)
A sign stands near the site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting on the day of the National School Walkout on March 14, 2018 in Sandy Hook Connecticut. Several hundred students at the school, near the site of the Sandy Hook school massacre of December 14, 2012, staged a protest one month after 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Media and visitors were not allowed on the Newtown High campus for the event. (Getty Images)

Remington, the nation’s oldest gunmaker, can be sued over how it marketed the Bushmaster rifle used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Justices in the state’s highest court issued a narrow 4-3 decision that reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit overturned by a lower court ruling that the legal action was prohibited by a 2005 federal ruling, the Associated Press reported. That 14-year-old decision shields gun manufacturers from liability when their products are used in crimes in most, but not all, instances.

While the majority of the state’s Supreme Court agreed with most of the lower court’s ruling and dismissed many of the suit’s allegations, a wrongful marketing claim can proceed.

“The regulation of advertising that threatens the public’s health, safety, and morals has long been considered a core exercise of the states’ police powers,” Justice Richard Palmer wrote for the majority.

Plaintiffs in the suit include a survivor and relatives of nine people killed in the massacre, reported AP. They contend that the AR-15-style rifle used by shooter Adam Lanza on Dec. 14, 2012 is too dangerous for the public. They argue that Remington glorified the weapon in marketing it to young people.

“The families are grateful that our state’s Supreme Court has rejected the gun industry’s bid for complete immunity, not only from the consequences of their reckless conduct but also from the truth-seeking discovery process,” said the families’ lead attorney, Josh Koskoff, in a prepared 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,” the attorney added.

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