A Connecticut Superior Court judge has ruled that a lawsuit can go forward against the maker of the rifle used in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
“We’ve passed the toughest gun laws in the nation for a reason. These families deserve this — the ruling is the right one," Governor Dannel Malloy said in a statement.
"The gun industry should not have protections that no other industry in America sees. This is a victory for the families and a victory for those who stand for commonsense gun laws.”
Judge Barbara Bellis ruled on Thursday that a federal law protecting gun-makers from lawsuits does not prevent lawyers for the families of Sandy Hook victims from arguing that the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.
A lawyer for the families had argued there is an exception in federal law that allows litigation against companies that know, or should know, that their weapons are likely to be used in a way that risks injury to others.
"We are thrilled that the gun companies' motion to dismiss was denied. The families look forward to continuing their fight in court," said Josh Koskoff, of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, one of the lawyers representing the families.
Twenty children and six educators were killed in the December 2012 shooting.
The sides are due back in court Tuesday.