Judge dis­misses suit against gun maker

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD - By Dave Collins

HART­FORD, CONN. — A judge Fri­day dis­missed a wrong­ful-death law­suit by New­town fam­i­lies against the maker of the ri­fle used in the Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School shoot­ing mas­sacre, cit­ing an em­bat­tled fed­eral law that shields gun man­u­fac­tur­ers from most law­suits over crim­i­nal use of their prod­ucts.

State Su­pe­rior Court Judge Bar­bara Bel­lis granted a mo­tion by Rem­ing­ton Arms to strike the law­suit by the fam­i­lies of nine chil­dren and adults killed and a teacher who sur­vived the Dec. 14, 2012, school at­tack, in which a gun­man killed 20 first-graders and six ed­u­ca­tors with a Bush­mas­ter AR-15-style ri­fle made by Rem­ing­ton.

The fam­i­lies were seek­ing to hold Rem­ing­ton ac­count­able for sell­ing what their lawyers called a semi-au­to­matic ri­fle that is too dan­ger­ous for the pub­lic. Their lawyer vowed an im­me­di­ate ap­peal of Fri­day’s rul­ing.

The judge agreed with at­tor­neys for Madi­son, N.C.-based Rem­ing­ton that the law­suit should be dis­missed un­der the Rem­ing­ton Arms at­tor­ney James Vogts, left, and at­tor­ney Joshua Koskoff, rep­re­sent­ing fam­i­lies of vic­tims of the Sandy Hook mas­sacre, ar­gue their points in court this year. fed­eral Pro­tec­tion of Law­ful Com­merce in Arms Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 and shields gun mak­ers from li­a­bil­ity when their firearms are used in crimes.

But the fam­i­lies’ at­tor­neys ar­gued that the law­suit was al­lowed un­der an ex­cep­tion in the fed­eral law that al­lows lit­i­ga­tion against com­pa­nies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks in­jury to oth­ers.

Be­sides Rem­ing­ton, other de­fen­dants in the law­suit in­clude firearms dis­trib­u­tor Cam­four and the now-closed store Riverview Gun Sales.


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