The maker of AR-15 rifles is reportedly pushing to dismiss wrongful death allegations filed by the families of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting victims. Attorneys for the Freedom Group gun manufacturer say the company cannot be held accountable for the illegal use of its weapons.
A Bridgeport, Connecticut, Superior Court judge heard arguments for the lawsuit on Feb. 22, CBS New York/Associated Press reports. Attorneys for the firearm company asked the judge to dismiss the case.
“Congress has expressed its clear intention that these kinds of cases against firearm manufacturers shall not be brought and shall not proceed and I think the process by which the law was passed needs to be respected and it needs to be followed,” Jonathan Whitcomb, attorney for the firearm company, said, according to CBS New York/AP.
The families of nine Newtown, Connecticut, shooting victims filed the suit in 2014, saying the gun company was irresponsible and marketed a weapon designed for the military to civilians.
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“It’s about this type of gun and this type of marketing," Mark Barden, the father of a Sandy Hook victim, told CBS. "The manufacturer is marketing to people like Adam Lanza and they know it."
The text of the lawsuit alleges that the AR-15 rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting has “military firepower, unsuited to home defense and recreation, enables an individual in possession to inflict unparalleled civilian carnage,” reports The Washington Times.
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said that while federal law protects the gun manufacturer, the families of victims should still be allowed to sue.
“The manufacturers of these deadly weapons have to be held accountable," Blumenthal added, according to CBS New York/AP. "The federal law provides them right now with a complete impenetrable shield to accountability and they ought to be held accountable for producing weapons that have no purpose but to kill and maim innocent human beings."
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The judge is slated to decide whether to dismiss the lawsuit or not within the next two months, The Washington Times notes.