Families of Sandy Hook victims sue shooter’s mother’s estate News
Families of Sandy Hook victims sue shooter’s mother’s estate

[JURIST] The victims’ families of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre [JURIST news archive] filed complaints on Friday against the Estate of Nancy Lanza, the deceased mother of gunman Adam Lanza, alleging that she carelessly gave her son access to the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle he used in the shooting. The lawsuits claim that Nancy Lanza “knew or should have known” that her son’s mental conditions made him a danger to others. The gun was kept in a gun safe, but reports indicate that Adam had unlimited access to the gun. Lanza’s estate is estimated to be worth $64,000 with a $1 million insurance policy on the home. Nancy Lanza was killed by her son immediately before he drove to the elementary school and killed 20 first-graders and six adults [Reuters report].

Since the December 2012 shooting, the Connecticut legislature has tightened gun laws while the families of victims have called for gun control. Families of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in the Superior Court of Connecticut in January, alleging that the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting were negligent. A judge for the US District Court for the District of Connecticut in January 2014 upheld [ruling, PDF] the constitutionality of the state’s new gun control law [text, PDF], while still acknowledging the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. The new law, enacted in response to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, expanded a previous ban [JURIST report] on assault weapons and introduced a prohibition on high-capacity ammunition magazines.