Families who lost loved ones in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School can proceed with their lawsuit against the gunmaker behind the AR-15 style rifle used in the deadly rampage.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected a Hail Mary appeal from Remington Arms, which was founded over 200 years ago and claims to be the oldest gun manufacturer in the U.S. The gunmaker had asked the high court to hear its case after the Connecticut Supreme Court greenlit a lawsuit to hold the company accountable for the massacre that left 20 young children and six adults dead in Newtown, Connecticut.
The decision allows victims of gun violence to sue gun manufacturers going forward and could have massive ramifications for the future of the industry. The justices didn’t comment on why they chose to reject the appeal.
In November 2017, family members of the victims filed suit against Remington and accused the gunmaker of aggressively marketing and glorifying its products — including the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle used in the shooting — to vulnerable young men.
Gun rights groups argued the case could upend existing protections afforded to the firearm industry by Congress. The families’ lawsuit challenges a 2005 federal law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields gun companies from liability and passed after aggressive lobbying from the NRA.
The NRA, Connecticut-based gun organizations, nine states, Second Amendment law professors, and 22 members of Congress had thrown their weight behind Remington.