Judge will hear arguments in Sandy Hook case

A judge will hear arguments Monday on whether to strike details from a lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook.

Remington Arms will argue that the allegations presented by nine families of those killed in the massacre do not align with the laws they cited in their complaint.

The company presented similar arguments before — in state court then federal and again in state — but in the most recent attempt Remington was denied a dismissal because of procedural issues.

In April, Bridgeport Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis identified striking details from the complaint as more appropriate for the jurisdiction than dismissing it. So, in response, the company repackaged the same arguments but in a motion to strike.

The families say Bushmaster Firearms, a gun manufacturer owned by Remington, advertised its AR-15 rifle as an effective killing, a concept that appealed to the deranged killer who used the rifle to gun down 20 first graders and six educators.

The complaint highlighted language used by Bushmaster to market its products to a civilian market. At one point before the shooting, Bushmaster used phrases like “military-proven performance,” “the ultimate combat weapons system,” and “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered” in its advertisements.

In May, Bellis denied Remington’s motion to delay the discovery process, which would require the company to release internal documents about marketing strategies. She said since the lawsuit has been active for more than a year, a delay would unnecessarily prolong the case. A trial is slotted for April 2018.

When the case was filed in December 2014, many legal experts speculated that it was unwinnable because of the physical and regulatory disconnect between the manufacturer of the firearm used in the incident and the shooter, but including the current decision, the case has overcome major legal hurdles.

The national debate about the AR-15 rifle has resurfaced, sprouting from the Orlando shooting earlier this month. The gunman in the incident used an AR-style rifle and a handgun to kill 49 people and injure 53 others.

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