A lawsuit by families of Newtown shooting victims against the companies that manufactured and sold the Bushmaster rifle used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy can proceed, a judge ruled on Thursday.

Judge Barbara Bellis ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act passed in 2005 doesn’t prevent lawyers from arguing that the Bushmaster XM15-E2S used in the attack is a military weapon that should not have been sold to civilians, The Associated Press reported.

Families of nine people killed in the Newton, Connecticut massacre and an educator who survived are suing maker Remington Arms Co., distributor Camfour, and seller Riverview Sales Inc., saying the weapon shouldn’t have been sold to Adam Lanza, who killed 20 first-graders, six educators, and his mother before committing suicide on Dec. 14, 2012.

The companies sought to have the case dismissed, citing the 2005 law that shields gun manufacturers from lawsuits over crimes committed with their products. The company’s argument could be made in a motion later in the case.

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