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Thread: Indiana Supreme Court allows gun lawsuit to proceed to trial

  1. #1
    Regular Member david.ross's Avatar
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    http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=65520

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    A decade-old lawsuit filed against a group of gun manufacturers by the city of Gary will proceed to trial, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Jan. 12, overturning a 2007 ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals. 
    
    The suit, which challenges several precedents set throughout the country in favor of gun manufacturers in recent years, alleges the companies are a public nuisance, engaging in irresponsible sales practices by funneling guns to ineligible buyers via gun dealers.
    
    Gary first brought the suit in 1999 after police conducted a videotaped sting operation catching gun dealers participating in “straw purchases” – selling guns to intermediaries who provide them to purchasers who are disqualified by prior convictions or inability to pass a background check. 
    
    Gary also sued major gun manufacturers who allegedly sold handguns through those dealerships. 
    
    However, videotapes from the sting might only incriminate the dealerships, not necessarily the manufacturers themselves.
    
    Brian Siebel, senior attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and co-counsel representing the city of Gary, said two undercover police officers entered the gun stores with the intention of purchasing a firearm. The first officer approached a salesperson, making it clear that the gun was intended for the second officer, who could not legally purchase it himself.
    
    The suit has dragged on for almost 10 years due to several challenges by the manufacturers.
    
    Following the 2005 passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shielded gun manufacturers from liability for crimes committed with their guns, manufacturers moved to dismiss the case, claiming the act barred the city’s public nuisance claim. 
    
    In October 2007, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the case could proceed to trial because the city’s public nuisance claim falls under an exception in the act applying to the sale and marketing of firearms. 
    
    Last week’s Indiana Supreme Court ruling was a denial of the gun 
    manufacturers’ appeal of the 2007 ruling. 
    
    According to the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, about 1 percent of the nation’s gun stores are the source of 57 percent of the firearms traced to crimes. 
    
    Siebel said the concentration of gun crimes in Indiana is particularly troubling. 
    
    “There is no place in this country for gun dealers willing to sell to straw buyers,” Siebel said. “They should be put out of business and prosecuted. If these dealers were not selling to ineligible buyers, it would make it harder for gang members and criminals to 
    get their guns.” 
    
    But James Dorr, trial counsel for defendant manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. and coordinating counsel for the manufacturer defendants in the case, said it is not fair to hold manufacturers responsible for the criminal acts of others. He said Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act specifically to prohibit lawsuits like City of Gary v. Smith & Wesson. 
    
    “I am quite confident the defendant manufacturers will prevail in this litigation,” Dorr said. “There is no basis in law or in fact for the claims against the manufacturers. The claim that the defendant manufacturers are somehow complicit in illegal activities is misplaced, a waste of valuable resources and contrary to the record of these defendants.” 
    
    Dorr said that when the case goes to trial, the city of Gary will fight against a precedent in favor of gun manufacturers. Of the more than 30 governmental entities or organizations that have brought similar claims against gun manufacturers since the passage of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005, none have prevailed. 
    
    Nevertheless, Siebel remains confident about the City of Gary’s claims against the gun industry. 
    
    “This suit is about keeping dangerous guns away from dangerous people and drying up the illegal market,” said Siebel. “We intend to establish in court the wrongdoing of the gun industry.”
    Gays are prominent members of firearm rights, we do more via the courts, don't like it? Leave.
    Religious bigots against same sex marriage are not different than white supremacists.
    I expel anti-gay people off my teams. Tolerance is key to team cohesion and team building.

  2. #2
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    Another city that likes to waste taxpayer's money...

  3. #3
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    Much to the chagrin of decent Hoosiers, Gary is a cesspool. Effectively a southern extension of Chicago, and one of the only places that had a city ordinance against firearms before preemption was made the standard (Their ordinance is grandfathered).

    I forget the details of the ordinance exactly, but it's no good.

    As you can guess, Gary is one of the most dangerous cities in Indiana to live.

    To comment on the charges/court case:

    Of course prosecute the crooked dealers, but it's not the manufacturer's fault that the dealer is crooked.

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    Gary hires police officers who are not allowed to own guns?

    The mere fact that officer #1 lied about #2's elligibility, doesn't alter
    the fact that #2 is allowed to purchase a gun.

    I hope the feds look into Gary trying to get around sunshine laws,
    and purchase guns on the sly without putting out bids.

    Now the Feds might be liable for allowing the ffl's to violate the law
    when it is thier job to check out the applicants elligibility.

    Now if the feds told the manufacturer that they issued forged ffl's
    to unelligble dealers then maybe you might have a case.
    But it only takes 12 idiots on a jury to make bad law.

    Would love to see the type of juror exclustions the prosecution is going for.
    Anyone not a paid Brady member no doubt.




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    Once won, the manufactures, defendants, et. al. should file a civil suit accusing the City of Gary of frivilous lawsuits and seek to be made whole, at the least.

    Surely an 'on the ball' civil rights lawyer could think up something better...

  6. #6
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    And it looks like I will never do any business in Gary again, not that I ever wanted to in the first place.

  7. #7
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    squisher wrote:
    Much to the chagrin of decent Hoosiers, Gary is a cesspool.
    HEY! You don't liveclose enough to Gary to call it a cesspool. :X I, on the other hand, DO live next door to Gary, and must travel through it many, many, many times annually. So, I HAVE earned the right to call Gary a cesspool!

    All the Indiana Court of Appeals determined was that Gary should be allowed to pursue their ridiculous, frivolous lawsuit. I agree with that. We shouldn't prohibit the City of Gary from doing something stupid, even if we know it's stupid. Freedom of choice and all that.

    "Siebel said the concentration of gun crimes in Indiana is particularly troubling."

    I'm GLAD Mr. Brian J. Siebel is "on the case". Siebel is from Washington, D.C., a city MORE crime ridden than Gary while simultaneously having even more restrictive gun laws. A bit hypocritical, don't you think? If you do, tell him so by mailing him at:

    Brian J. Siebel

    BradyCenter to Prevent Handgun Violence

    1225 I Street, N.W.

    Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20005

    By the way, this isn't the first "City of xx vs. the Gun-maker" suit Siebel's been involved with. He filed one (with other nutballs) in a suit that was, essentially New York vs. Beretta, Browning,Colt, Glock, Taurus, Walther, Mossberg, Jennings, H&R 1871, Kel-Tec, Interarms, Intratec, Hi-Point, Int'l Armament, Bryco, etc. Probably other suits as well.

    Basically Siebel is an anti-gun zealot that makes his unscrupulous living suing everyone and anyone that has any association with guns in an form or fashion. He doesn't win, of course, but he DOES get paid by milking money out of various city coffers with hopelessly frivolous lawsuits. It's a living, I guess.

    However, if I was James Dorr, trial counsel for Ruger, I'd be HAPPY that Siebel was "on the case"! Let's look at how easily Dorr can counter-punch Siebel's "allegations" by simply quoting Siebel himself,eh?

    “There is no place in this country for gun DEALERS willing to sell to straw buyers,” Siebel said. “They should be put out of business and prosecuted."


    THANK YOU, Brian Siebel! You've just, yourself, admitted that it's the unscrupulous DEALERS and NOT the manufacturers that are the issue / problem. Therefore, the lawsuit is patently frivolous on it's face.

    If you're not clear on this, it means that Siebel is admitting, with that comment (that if I were James Dorr, I'd utilize at every opportunity before and during the suit) that it's the "bad" gun retailers (the 1% that accounts for 57% of gun crimes) that are the problem, not the gun manufacturers.

    I happen to agree with Siebel, don't you? We SHOULD go after bad gun retailers and help keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.

    I'm glad Siebel made that comment as it demonstrates that he KNOWS where the problem is, but has made a conscious choice to harass the gun manufacturers at every opportunity, likely BECAUSE that's where the money is.

    If I were any of those named gun manufacturers, I'd fight the lawsuit, then I'd go after Siebel for harassing them, and try to get him disbarred.

    Just my thoughts, friends.

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    I work in the Merr. / Gary area, off of Broadway. And live just towns away.

    Gary IS a dangerous town, and crime has gone up substantially now that the recession is in full swing.


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    squisher wrote:
    Much to the chagrin of decent Hoosiers, Gary is a cesspool. Effectively a southern extension of Chicago, and one of the only places that had a city ordinance against firearms before preemption was made the standard (Their ordinance is grandfathered).

    I forget the details of the ordinance exactly, but it's no good.

    As you can guess, Gary is one of the most dangerous cities in Indiana to live.

    To comment on the charges/court case:

    Of course prosecute the crooked dealers, but it's not the manufacturer's fault that the dealer is crooked.
    I did not know about that grandfathered ordinance. That's just great. About the only way I felt safe working in Gary was when I may have had my SIG P226 on my hip.

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    Geez, living in Northwest Indiana I'm too close to Gary for comfort when it comes to running afoul of their ordinance. I'll have to look at some maps and see what I need to avoid.

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