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Posted: 6/4/2003 6:12:59 PM EDT
For Immediate Release: 6/3/2003 FAMILIES OF SEVEN SNIPER VICTIMS JOIN LAWSUIT AGAINST GUN DEALER, MANUFACTURER Victims Assert Legal Rights In Face Of Gun Lobby Push To Bar Suits Washington, D.C. -- The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced today that seven additional victims and families of victims are joining in the lawsuit originally filed in January against the manufacturer of the Bushmaster assault rifle used by the D.C.-area snipers and the gun dealer whose negligence put the rifle in the snipers' hands. The new filing, made in the form of an Amended Complaint for Damages, comes at a time when the gun lobby is pushing legislation in Congress, S.659, that would protect the gun industry from lawsuits by gun violence victims, including the legal claims asserted by the sniper victims and their families. "By joining this lawsuit, these victims of gun violence are standing up for their legal rights," said Brady Center Senior Attorney Jonathan Lowy. "They are also standing up to the gun lobby that is pressuring Congress to deny those rights. Can the Senate supporters of S.659 explain to these victims why they should be denied their day in court?" On January 16, 2003, Brady Center attorneys, along with Seattle trial lawyer Paul Luvera, filed suit in Superior Court for Pierce County, Washington on behalf of the families of two victims of the sniper shootings: James L. "Sonny" Buchanan, Jr. and Conrad Johnson. The suit was filed against Bushmaster Firearms, Inc., the manufacturer of the Bushmaster XM-15 E2S .223 caliber semi-automatic assault rifle used by the snipers, and against Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, the Tacoma, WA gun dealer from which the Bushmaster mysteriously "disappeared," ending up in the hands of the snipers. The suit also named as defendants the two individual owners of Bull's Eye, Brian Borgelt and Charles N. Carr, as well as sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo. The suit charged Bull's Eye with operating its gun shop in such a grossly negligent manner that scores of guns, including the high-powered Bushmaster, inexplicably "disappeared" from the store. The suit asserts that Bull's Eye took the gun into its inventory in July of 2002, that both sniper suspects had visited the store after that date, and that Bull's Eye did not report the gun missing to authorities until after it was confiscated from the suspects following their arrest. Because both sniper suspects were legally prohibited from buying guns, they could not have obtained the gun without the gun shop's negligence. Bushmaster Firearms is charged with negligence in continuing to sell high-firepower assault rifles designed for combat use through Bull's Eye even though prior government audits of the store had revealed hundreds of missing guns. The additional victims and family members joining the suit include: Ted Franklin of Arlington, Virginia, the husband of Linda Franklin, an FBI analyst who was shot and killed as they were shopping at a Home Depot in Falls Church, Virginia. Lisa Brown, the mother of 13-year-old Iran Brown, who was shot and wounded at Benjamin Tasker Middle School in Bowie, Maryland. Margaret Walekar, the wife of Premkumar A. Walekar, who was shot and killed as he refueled his cab at a Mobil gas station in Aspen Hill, Maryland. Rupinder "Benny" Oberoi, who was shot and wounded as he closed the Hillandale Beer and Wine store of Silver Spring, Maryland, where he worked. Carlos Cruz, the husband of Sara Ramos, who was shot and killed while sitting on a bench in Silver Spring, Maryland, waiting for a ride to take her to a babysitting job. Nelson Rivera, the husband of Lori Lewis-Rivera, who was shot and killed as she was vacuuming her van at a gas station in Kensington, Maryland. James Ballenger, III, the husband of Hong Im Ballenger, who was shot and killed outside the beauty store she managed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Among the new facts asserted in the sniper victims' Amended Complaint are: Between 1997 and 2001, law enforcement authorities traced guns involved in 52 crimes to Bull's Eye, including homicides, kidnappings and assaults, including numerous publicly reported violent crimes such as one of Washington State's most heinous mass murders, the Trang Dai Cafe killings in Tacoma. This high number of crime gun sales places Bull's Eye in the top one percent of all dealers nationwide in sales of crime guns. Between 1997 and 2000, Bull's Eye sold 663 guns to 265 individual buyers -- sometimes as many as ten guns at a time. ATF has recognized such multiple sales as an indicator of gun trafficking. On September 13, 2001, during a 2001 ATF audit, Bull's Eye finally filed its "Federal Firearms Licensee Theft/Loss Report" which it had agreed to file as part of an audit the previous year. Bull's Eye reported 160 lost or stolen weapons. At least 10 of the weapons listed were AR-15 type assault weapons. Six of the weapons reported stolen or lost were manufactured by Bushmaster. At least five of these Bushmaster weapons were AR-15 type weapons. An audit in 2002 found an additional 78 "missing" weapons, putting the total at least at 238 "missing" guns. This puts Bull's Eye in the top fraction of 1% of gun dealers nationally for "missing" guns CRC
Link Posted: 6/4/2003 10:35:30 PM EDT
"Can the Senate supporters of S.659 explain to these victims why they should be denied their day in court?" They are free to sue those that caused them harm.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 12:24:28 AM EDT
Sure. They should sue the ATF for allowing this store to keep their FFL after all these problems they were having. Technically, the ATF is for responsible for monitoring the business practices of the particular dealer, not the manufacturers. Bushmaster does not have nearly the resources nor the government mandate to monitor every single dealer. That is the responsibility of the federal government.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 12:40:08 AM EDT
The Manufacturer doesn't have the time to look into everyones business files to see how they're doing? How is it their fault? Isn't that the ATF's supposed job? They let them keep their license? Why sue the people who made the gun instead of the people that used the gun?? Oooohhhh, yeah. The people that made it have more money!!!! Ok!!!
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 1:13:01 AM EDT
Seems to me that THE BRADY BUNCH tracked down the victims' families to join this lawsuit.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 8:36:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2003 8:37:40 AM EDT by Pat-Riot]
Looks like they just dug up a bunch of dirt on their biggest ally being the one's truly at fault right after Bull's Eye. The ATFE seem to have been the negligent ones. But you have to ask the Gov's permission to sue them, and the Brady bunch want more Gov. power not less, so that would defeat their over all goal. I predict this little lawsuit will bite them in the ass. However notice it was filed in jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit? Crafty bastards.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 8:44:09 AM EDT
Ok heres a question for you guys. If the gun was a post ban than is it right to call it an assault rifle? As the definition set forth in the federal ban is not met by the gun as it is missing the required features. Oh and like the gun grabbers care that the suit will be tossed, it brings attention to the "issue". Hows that go any publicity even bad is still better than none.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 9:04:17 AM EDT
There is only one goal of this lawsuit - money. Brady hides behind the notion of "ending violence" and all sorts of other altruistic claims, but the goal is money. The last thing these litigious cretins want is for the case to go to court. In court, the fallacy of their position will be brought to the fore, and their only hope for damages rests on seating a sympathetic jury. Large-damage-award juries are getting tougher and tougher to find, because so many people now are repulsed by huge awards in frivolous cases. What Brady is looking for is a settlement from Bushmaster, et. al. They will get nothing from the gun store because, well, they have no real assets other than their inventory, which will likely be liquidated to defend against this suit. The perps in this case, allegedly Malvo and Muhammed, have no assets. That leaves Bushmaster, a company that does most of its business through steady government contracts and has a lot of earning potential. The plaintiffs in this case will use hyperbole and outright lies to further their self-serving cause. I feel sorry for the families of the victims of these crimes for their loss, but I also feel sorry for them to be duped by Brady and others into thinking that suing Bushmaster will somehow bring justice. Actually, say they're ultimately successful, and Bushmaster is bankrupted in the process. Do they actually think that the AR production capacity provided by Bushmaster will not be suplanted by some other vendor? What they will create is a larger manufacturer. Imagine if Armalite overnight began making all of Bushmaster's rifles as well. Noe the antis have created a bigger target, albeit with more assets to potentially recover. However, the new target now also has deeper pockets with which to defend against frivolous lawsuits such as this one. Eventually, they will be up against a force that cannot be overcome. Who suffers? The families of the victims, for they must continue to relive the tragic day their loved one was lost. The good hard-working people that companies like Bushmaster employ, for they are now jobless in a market that has limited use for their specialized skills. The legitimate, legal purchasers of the products Bushmaster manufactures, for they are now shopping in a market with reduced competition. The most drastically affected of Bushmaster's displaced customers will be local, state and federal law enforcement organizations, for they will now be subject to the whims of, potentially, a single supplier of AR type weapons. This lawsuit stinks on many levels, to be sure.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 9:13:04 AM EDT
This lawsuit should award the victims all the money they ask for by shutting down 'Bullseye's', and not affecting Bushmaster. Common, NO gunshop 'loses' that many guns. This one of those shops that sells em illegaly.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 9:24:23 AM EDT
Will Bushmasters Firearms, Inc. be filing a countersuit for malicious litigation and recoup of all legal funds expended in this laughable lawsuit? If I were them I'd go after every $#%damned penny that the plaintiffs had...especially the Brady Center.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 9:43:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Kamikaze_Ozzy: Will Bushmasters Firearms, Inc. be filing a countersuit for malicious litigation and recoup of all legal funds expended in this laughable lawsuit? If I were them I'd go after every $#%damned penny that the plaintiffs had...especially the Brady Center.
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This would be absolutely great, too bad they dont have the balls to even try it. (The industry seems to have a passive attitude even when they have all odds for them, that is, until theyre being shut down).
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 10:26:18 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CRC: For Immediate Release: 6/3/2003 Bushmaster Firearms is charged with negligence in continuing to sell high-firepower assault rifles designed for combat use through Bull's Eye even though prior government audits of the store had revealed hundreds of missing guns. CRC
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So how was Bushmaster supposed to know the retail FFL dealer was being sloppy. It's not their mess to clean up. Bull's Eye should be held accountable.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 10:32:56 AM EDT
I would say that Bushmaster is the deep pockets. The gun store involved in my thought is the party that broke the law. Being a FFL and could not keep track of how many guns that it had in inventory?? You have got to be kidding. I have never been into any gun store that you would be able to steal a gun with out being noticed. The lost of 160 guns in one year - to me is excessive- . people need to know that if a crazy person(s) wants to do harm. they will find a way. goes back to the hammer/baseball bat/ and a car to the item that kill more people that guns. what would have happened if they had used a blow-gun?? Rant Off - Badredfish [devil]
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 10:33:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2003 10:45:27 AM EDT by NYPatriot]
Thanks for the heads up CRC! [b]Don't get mad at this BS folks... get active & involved.[/b] If you haven't already written your Senators & Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist concerning The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (S.659), the time is NOW!!! [i]If you have, maybe it's time for a friendly reminder.[/i] Sample letters on the subject can be found [url=www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=185473&w=myTopicPop]HERE[/url] Complete details on S.659 can be found [url=www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=180924&w=searchPop]HERE[/url] We have a choice... we can sit back & watch the firearms industry litigated out of existence, or we can take the offensive for once! C'mon guys... we have the political muscle, let's exercise it.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 10:36:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By GlockBoy: So how was Bushmaster supposed to know the retail FFL dealer was being sloppy. It's not their mess to clean up. Bull's Eye should be held accountable.
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As far as Bushmaster knew, Bull's Eye was on the up-and-up. In one of Bushmasters early statments on the matter, they stated that their policy has alwasy been to verify the status of any FFL before they ship an order. Anyone here can do the same thing [url]http://199.196.145.75/FFLeZCheck[/url], although as a manufacturer, Bushmaster might have a verification system that's more detailed.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 12:51:55 PM EDT
I think the BATF should be included in the lawsuit. It's their job to enforce the FFL dealers books. They would be more responsible then Bushmaster.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 1:10:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By photoman: Ok heres a question for you guys. If the gun was a post ban than is it right to call it an assault rifle? As the definition set forth in the federal ban is not met by the gun as it is missing the required features.
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Even if it was a preban, it would still not be an assault rifle, as it is not capable of burst or full auto. The 1994 AWB had nothing to do with assault rifles.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 1:11:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 1:16:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CRC: For Immediate Release: 6/3/2003 .........the manufacturer of the Bushmaster XM-15 E2S .223 caliber semi-automatic assault rifle used by the snipers............. Bushmaster Firearms is charged with negligence in continuing to sell high-firepower assault rifles designed for combat CRC
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What a bunch of moronic drivel! A semi-automatic assault rifle?????????????? These idiots don't have a clue. High powered????????? Yeah, they are so high powered that some states don't allow them for deer hunting because the round is [b][red]NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH[/red][/b]. Sheesh, these idiots cannot lie enough as it seems that everything they say is an absolute lie.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 2:43:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By NYPatriot: Thanks for the heads up CRC! [b]Don't get mad at this BS folks... get active & involved.[/b] If you haven't already written your Senators & Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist concerning The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (S.659), the time is NOW!!! [i]If you have, maybe it's time for a friendly reminder.[/i] Sample letters on the subject can be found [url=www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=185473&w=myTopicPop]HERE[/url] Complete details on S.659 can be found [url=www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=180924&w=searchPop]HERE[/url] We have a choice... we can sit back & watch the firearms industry litigated out of existence, or we can take the offensive for once! C'mon guys... we have the political muscle, let's exercise it.
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Excellent point NYPatriot. Let's take advantage of a Majority Senate while we have the oppurtunity. We have to shitcan this Bill.
Link Posted: 6/5/2003 8:26:36 PM EDT
Oneshot1kill...
We have to shitcan this Bill.
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I think you have your wirers crossed on this issue, Oneshot. [b]We want this bill to pass & become law![/b] It will confer blanket immunity to gun manufactures & dealers, protecting them from frivolous lawsuits. Hardly a bill we want to flush down the crapper!
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 5:32:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DzlBenz: There is only one goal of this lawsuit - money. Brady hides behind the notion of "ending violence" and all sorts of other altruistic claims, but the goal is money. The last thing these litigious cretins want is for the case to go to court. In court, the fallacy of their position will be brought to the fore, and their only hope for damages rests on seating a sympathetic jury. Large-damage-award juries are getting tougher and tougher to find, because so many people now are repulsed by huge awards in frivolous cases. What Brady is looking for is a settlement from Bushmaster, et. al. They will get nothing from the gun store because, well, they have no real assets other than their inventory, which will likely be liquidated to defend against this suit. The perps in this case, allegedly Malvo and Muhammed, have no assets. That leaves Bushmaster, a company that does most of its business through steady government contracts and has a lot of earning potential. The plaintiffs in this case will use hyperbole and outright lies to further their self-serving cause. I feel sorry for the families of the victims of these crimes for their loss, but I also feel sorry for them to be duped by Brady and others into thinking that suing Bushmaster will somehow bring justice. Actually, say they're ultimately successful, and Bushmaster is bankrupted in the process. Do they actually think that the AR production capacity provided by Bushmaster will not be suplanted by some other vendor? What they will create is a larger manufacturer. Imagine if Armalite overnight began making all of Bushmaster's rifles as well. Noe the antis have created a bigger target, albeit with more assets to potentially recover. However, the new target now also has deeper pockets with which to defend against frivolous lawsuits such as this one. Eventually, they will be up against a force that cannot be overcome. Who suffers? The families of the victims, for they must continue to relive the tragic day their loved one was lost. The good hard-working people that companies like Bushmaster employ, for they are now jobless in a market that has limited use for their specialized skills. The legitimate, legal purchasers of the products Bushmaster manufactures, for they are now shopping in a market with reduced competition. The most drastically affected of Bushmaster's displaced customers will be local, state and federal law enforcement organizations, for they will now be subject to the whims of, potentially, a single supplier of AR type weapons. This lawsuit stinks on many levels, to be sure.
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That is the reason most definately!!
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