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Sandy Hook families reach settlement with gunmaker over school massacre

Balloons fly on the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, in Newtown, Connecticut, on Saturday, December 14, 2013. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
Balloons fly on the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, in Newtown, Connecticut, on Saturday, December 14, 2013. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)

Families of nine victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting reach a $73 million settlement with US gunmaker Remington, in a landmark deal for a country plagued by campus massacres.

Twenty-six children and teachers were shot dead at the elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, by 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza.

A “settlement agreement has been executed between the parties,” says a notice from lawyers for the families.

Lanza was a 20-year-old with known developmental disabilities who lived at home with his mother when he carried out the attack. His mother, a gun enthusiast, had bought him an AR-15-style Bushmaster XM15-E2S semi-automatic rifle more than two years before the shooting. Lanza murdered his mother before attacking the school, and killed himself afterward.

The lawsuit alleged that Remington and the other two defendants are culpable because they knowingly marketed a military-grade weapon that is “grossly unsuited” for civilian use, yet had become the gun most used in mass shootings.

“When it came to the military looking for the best weapon, the most lethal weapon, the most destructive weapon and the weapon that could provide our soldiers… they chose the AR-15,” Joshua Koskoff, a lawyer for the Sandy Hook families, tells a press conference.

The same gun, he says, “was used not by a highly-trained soldier but by a deeply troubled kid, not on a battlefield abroad but in an elementary school at home, and not to preserve freedom, but to eviscerate them.”

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