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Connecticut Supreme Court hears arguments in Newtown shooting case

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Court to decide if gunmaker is liable for Sandy Hook massacre

Families of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre asked a court on Tuesday to revive a lawsuit against Remington Arms Company over whether the gun manufacturer bears any responsibility for the mass shooting, Bloomberg reported.

A state Superior Court judge past year dismissed the suit, which was brought by relatives of nine people who were killed and one person who survived the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, 2012.

The case centers on a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle made by North Carolina-based Remington and a 2005 federal law that shields gun makers from liability in most cases.

A lower court had sided with the defense, but the state Supreme Court agreed to review the case to decide if it can go before a jury.

The families claim Remington and the other defendants "extolled the militaristic and assaultive qualities" of the AR-15, advertising the rifle as "mission-adaptable" and "the ultimate combat weapons system" in a deliberate pitch to a demographic of young men fascinated by the military.

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On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 20 first-graders and six educators at Newtown, Connecticut school, before turning the gun on himself.

Nine of those children's families argued Bushmaster's parent company, Remington Arms, specifically marketed a military-grade weapon to people who were likely to use it to kill. "And the courtship between Remington and Adam Lanza is at the heart if this case". It has met with some success in lawsuits against gun shop owners, but legal experts said it has never been used before to target a manufacturer.

Josh Koskoff, lawyer for the victims' families, compared it to "the Ford Motor Company advertising a auto that can run over people" and said that kind of advertising attracts "dangerous users", including Lanza.

"No matter how tragic, no matter how much we wish those children and their teachers were not lost and their families had not suffered, the law needs to be applied", Vogts told the court.

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