Judge dismisses Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against gun maker

HARTFORD, Conn. — A Connecticut judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Newtown families against the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, saying federal law shields gun manufacturers from most lawsuits over criminal use of their products.

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis on Friday granted a motion by Madison, North Carolina-based Remington Arms to strike the lawsuit by the families of nine children and adults killed and a teacher who survived the 2012 attack. A gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the school with an AR-15-style rifle.

Bellis cited the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed by Congress in 2005 that protected gun makers from such lawsuits. The families’ lawyers said their lawsuit was allowed under an exception to the act, but Bellis disagreed.

A lawyer representing the Newtown families that sued the maker of the rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre says they will appeal a judge’s dismissal of the lawsuit.

Attorney Josh Koskoff says the families are disappointed by the decision, but it is “not the end of the fight.” He says an appeal of the decision will be filed immediately.