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Sandy Hook lawsuit against gun-maker gets trial date

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. --A judge has set a 2018 trial date in the lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used in theSandy Hook Elementary School shootings.

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The families of nine of the people killed in the December 2012 massacre and a teacher who survived the attack are suing Remington Arms, the parent company of Bushmaster Firearms.

The judge Tuesday set the trial date for April 3, 2018.

"We're obviously very happy with with the judge's decision, and basically this is just one more step in a long march," said Bill Sherlach, who lost his wife Mary in the shootings, CBS Hartford affiliate WFSB-TV reports.

The judge last week ruled that a 2005 federal law protecting gun-makers from lawsuits does not prevent lawyers for the victims' families from arguing that the semi-automatic rifle is a military weapon and should not have been sold to civilians.

The Sandy Hook gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators with a Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle that his mother had bought legally.

"There are a lot of guns our shooter could have chosen from his arsenal. He chose the AR-15 because it served his purpose to kill as many people as possible," said Nicole Hockley, who is among the families suing the gun-maker, WFSB-TV reports.

Hockley's son, Dylan, was among the victims.

The attorney for Remington has argued that his client can't be held responsible for the deaths, and doing so would set a dangerous precedent, WFSB-TV reports. The attorney denied comment on Tuesday in court.