HARTFORD (AP) - Facing a newly revived wrongful death lawsuit in Connecticut over the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, gun-maker Remington is going to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue it can’t be sued because of a much-debated federal law that shields firearms manufacturers from liability in most cases.
The Connecticut Supreme Court issued a 4-3 ruling last month saying the Madison, North Carolina-based company can be sued under state law for how it marketed the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators at the Newtown school in 2012. The decision reinstated part of a lawsuit by some of the victims’ families that had been completely dismissed by a lower court judge.
The case is being watched by gun control advocates, gun rights supporters and gun manufacturers across the country, as it has the potential to provide a roadmap for victims of other mass shootings to circumvent the federal law and sue firearm makers.
The federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act has been criticized by gun control advocates as being too favorable to gun-makers since it took effect in 2005, and it has been used to bar lawsuits over other mass killings.
Remington’s lawyers have notified the Connecticut high court that they intend to ask the nation’s highest court to hear the company’s appeal of last month’s decision, according to a motion filed with the state court Friday.
The company has until June to file papers with the U.S. Supreme Court.