Remington petitions Supreme Court to hear Sandy Hook case

In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, firearms training unit Detective Barbara J. Mattson, of the Connecticut State Police, holds a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, the same make and model used by Adam Lanza in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting, during a hearing at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

BRIDGEPORT — Remington Arms wants the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the gunmaker is responsible for the Dec. 14, 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In a case that has stirred a hot debate between gun owners and those seeking to ban some kinds of firearms, Remington wants the country’s highest court to overturn a state Supreme Court decision allowing the company to be sued by the families of nine victims killed at the Newtown elementary school.

“Remington’s filing makes no new or unexpected arguments,” said Joshua Koskoff, who represents the Sandy Hook families. “Our state’s highest court has already ruled that the families deserve their day in court, and we are confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will defer to that well-reasoned opinion.”

Armed with a Bushmaster AR-15 assault-style rifle manufactured by Remington, Adam Lanza opened fire at the school killing 20 first-graders and six educators. The 20-year-old gunman earlier shot his mother to death at their Newtown home, and killed himself as police arrived at the school. The rifle was legally owned by his mother.

The Sandy Hook families filed suit in state Superior Court in Bridgeport against Remington, claiming the company should have never sold such a dangerous weapon to the public and alleging it targeted younger, at-risk males in marketing and product placement in violent video games.

Remington countered that a 2005 federal law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, shields firearms manufacturers from liability in most cases when their products are used in crimes.

But in March, in a 4-3 ruling, the state Supreme Court ruled Remington could be sued under state law over how it marketed the rifle to the public.

“Congress enacted the (law) to ensure that firearms — so central to American society that the founders safeguarded their ownership and use in the Bill of Rights — would be regulated only through the democratic process rather than the vagaries of litigation,” Remington lawyers Scott Keller and Stephanie Cagniart wrote in their request to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Connecticut Media Group