Lawyers for a gun maker and families of some Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre victims squared off in a Connecticut courtroom Monday over whether a federal law prevents the families’ wrongful death lawsuit targeting the AR-15 rifle used to kill 20 children and six adults in the 2012 shooting.
Judge Barbara Bellis in Bridgeport heard arguments but didn’t issue a ruling Monday. She said she would rule within the next two months on whether the lawsuit should go forward toward trial or be dismissed.
The families of nine children and adults killed at the Newtown school and a teacher who survived the attack say the AR-15 is a highly lethal military weapon that should not be sold to the public. They’re suing Freedom Group, the Madison, North Carolina, parent company of Bushmaster Firearms, which made the AR-15 used in the school shooting.
Lawyers for Freedom Group said the company is protected by a 2005 federal law that shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products. They said Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act after determining such lawsuits were an abuse of the legal system.
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