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Familes of Sandy Hook school shooting victims sue gunmaker

In a wrongful death lawsuit, families of the victims said the Bushmaster rifle used in the Sandy Hook school shooting resembles the M-16, an Army weapon not sold to civilians.

By Frances Burns
Familes of Sandy Hook school shooting victims sue gunmaker
Neil Heslin, father of Jesse Lewis, who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The Bushmaster rifle that Adam Lanza used in the Sandy Hook school shooting should not be sold to civilians, families of the victims said in a lawsuit.

The suit, filed Saturday, names Bushmaster Firearms International, the maker of the Bushmaster Model XM15-E2S, which is a subsidary of Remington Outdoor Co.

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Camfour, which distributes Remington products, and Riverview Gun Sales, the East Windsor, Connecticut, store where Nancy Lanza bought the Bushmaster, were also named as defendants.

Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother in their Newtown, Connecticut, home on Dec. 14, 2012. He then drove to the Sandy Hook elementary school, which he had attended as a child, and killed 20 children and six staffers before taking his own life.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include one survivor and nine families of people killed in the massacre.

The wrongful death lawsuit describes Bushmaster as the biggest seller of combat-style weapons for civilian use. It charges the company should have known the weapons could be used to inflict mass casualties.

Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the families, said the Bushmaster resembles the M-16, a military weapon that cannot be sold to civilians. He said the Army has strict rules for storage of M-16s.

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"There is so much ample evidence of the inability of the civilian world to control these weapons, that is no longer reasonable to entrust them to for that purpose," Koskoff told the Wall Street Journal. "How many massacres do there have to be before that is realized?"

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