Sandy Hook families ask CT Supreme Court to hear appeal in lawsu - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Sandy Hook families ask CT Supreme Court to hear appeal in lawsuit against gun companies

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The AR-15 rifle used by the Sandy Hook shooter in 2012 was made by Remington Arms. (State police photo) The AR-15 rifle used by the Sandy Hook shooter in 2012 was made by Remington Arms. (State police photo)
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    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.  

    More >
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

Families of nine of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting announced on Tuesday that they want the Connecticut Supreme Court to hear their appeal in their lawsuit against gun companies.

Last month, a Connecticut judge dismissed their lawsuit against Remington Arms, the maker of the rifle used by the shooter that killed 26 students and staff.

An AR-15 rifle was used in the shooting, according to state police. According to the lawsuit, Remington Arms should not have sold it in the first place.

"I am bringing this appeal for our dead son, Dylan, who never stood a chance as he starred down the barrel of a military grade weapon," said Ian Hockley, whose son Dylan was killed inside the school.

The judge cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects gun makers from such suits. The law shields companies from most lawsuits regarding the criminal use of their products.

The families said they were disappointed in the judge's ruling and vowed to keep fighting. 

On Tuesday, the families said they want to hold the sellers of the AR-15 accountable under Connecticut law. They argued that the gun companies "violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act in aggressively and unethically marketing the AR-15 to the public."  

“Ours had to grapple with the manner in which those lives were lost. Children and teachers were gunned down in classrooms and hallways with a weapon that was designed for our armed forces and engineered to deliver maximum carnage. The assault was so rapid that no police force on earth could have been expected to stop it.  Fifty-pound bodies were riddled with five, eleven, even thirteen bullets. This is not sensationalism. It is the reality the defendants created when they chose to sell a weapon of war and aggressively market its assaultive capabilities. Ten families who paid the price for those choices seek accountability through Connecticut common and statutory law.  It is only appropriate that Connecticut’s highest court decide whether these families have the right to proceed," the appeal reads. 

The families' attorney Josh Koskoff said "critical issues raised in this case belong before our state’s Supreme Court and we hope the Court agrees." 

"The Supreme Court not only sets precedent but also reviews the applicability and relevance of prior decisions, and works to ensure that the common law is up-to-date with the realities and dangers of a changing world," Koskoff said in a statement on Tuesday. 

Koskoff said the families are asking the supreme court "to consider the scope of the common law of negligent entrustment in Connecticut," which he said has not been used in the state’s appellate courts in nearly a century. 

Nicole Hockley's son Dylan was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting.

“Nothing will ever bring back my son, Dylan, or the other lives stolen from us on that awful day. Our only goal in bringing this appeal is to help prevent the next Sandy Hook from happening and we have faith that Connecticut’s Supreme Court will take up what is literally a matter of life and death," Hockley said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The families say it's only appropriate that Connecticut’s highest court decide whether they can proceed. The appeal process could take up to a year.

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