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Judge Rules Against Remington in Favor of Newtown Families’ Lawsuit

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Article first appeared at Cheaper than Dirt.

Thursday, April 14th a Superior Court judge made one of the stupidest most misguided rulings to date when Judge Barbara Bellis said that a 2005 federal law protecting gun-makers from lawsuits does not prevent lawyers for the victims’ families from arguing that the semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.

The ruling is related to the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where the shooter used a stolen Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle that had been previously legally purchased by his mother. Now, the families have hired lawyers to sue Remington Arms, the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, which manufactured the firearm.

Lawyers for Remington Arms attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that the federal law shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over the criminal use of their products. They said Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act after determining such lawsuits were an abuse of the legal system.

However, Judge Bellis ruled that the argument would be best made in a motion later in the process and was not grounds to dismiss the lawsuit.

Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the Newtown victims’ families, argued there is 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.

“We are thrilled that the gun companies’ motion to dismiss was denied,” he said. “The families look forward to continuing their fight in court.”

Debate over the 2005 law has resurfaced in this year’s presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton has criticized fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders’ for supporting the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act when it was passed.

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