The families of those who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook shooting won a major victory Tuesday as the Supreme Court denied an appeal to block a lawsuit filed against gun manufacturer Remington Arms.
A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed in 2015 by families of nine victims in the 2012 shooting where 20 children and six adults were killed by a gunman wielding an AR-15-style weapon made by Bushmaster, a division of Remington. The families have argued in part that the makers and sellers of the weapon “know that civilians are unfit to operate AR-15s, and yet continue selling the Bushmaster XM15-E2S to the civilian market.”
Remington hoped to have the lawsuit dismissed by arguing it should be protected by a 2005 federal law that prevents most lawsuits against gun manufacturers from going forward when their weapons are used in a crime, the Hartford Courant reports.
The justices not only denied Remington’s appeal, but declined to hear arguments and made no comments in the denial, according to WBUR.
“The families are grateful that the Supreme Court upheld precedent and denied Remington’s latest attempt to avoid accountability,” Josh Koskoff, a lawyer for the families, told the Courant Tuesday. “We are ready to resume discovery and proceed towards trial in order to shed light on Remington’s profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users at the expense of Americans’ safety.”
The decision is an especially big blow to the National Rifle Association, which has been a vocal supporter of Remington and of putting an end to the lawsuit. Now that the Supreme Court has denied the appeal, the NRA can focus on other matters, including its own collapse amid legal and financial troubles.