HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Newtown families against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, saying federal law shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.
Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis on Friday granted a motion by Madison, North Carolina-based Remington Arms to strike the lawsuit by the families of nine children and adults killed and a teacher who survived the 2012 attack. A gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the school with an AR-15-style rifle.
Bellis cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed by Congress in 2005 that protected gun makers from such lawsuits. The families’ lawyers said their lawsuit was allowed under an exception to the act, but Bellis disagreed.
Josh Koskoff, a lawyer representing one of the families, released a statement on the decision:
“While the families are obviously disappointed with the judge’s decision, this is not the end of the fight. We will appeal this decision immediately and continue our work to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening.”