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Judge allows Newtown lawsuit against gun companies to move forward

A Connecticut judge denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against the manufacturer and sellers of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that left 26 people dead in Newtown, Connecticut.

Gun companies had argued that a 2005 federal law had granted them broad immunity from civil lawsuits over the misuse of their products. But Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ruled Thursday that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, PLCAA, didn’t prevent the families of Sandy Hook victims to argue that the gun companies knew — or should have known — that the military-style assault weapon it marketed to civilian buyers “posed an unreasonable and egregious risk of physical injury to others.”

The plaintiffs argued that the Dec. 14, 2012 mass shooting, that killed 20 children and six teachers, was well within the scope of the risk of promoting a rifle designed to inflict maximum causalities.

The shooter, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster XM15-E2S that his mother, Nancy Lanza, legally purchased and stashed at their Newtown home. Lanza opened fire at the elementary school after he killed his mother. He then turned the gun on himself when police arrived.

“We are thrilled that the gun companies’ motion to dismiss was denied, said lawyer Josh Koshoff, who represents the victims’ families. “The families look forward to continuing their fight in court.”

Both sides are scheduled to be back in court Tuesday.

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