I probably should have looked for the Brady Center’s response to the outcome of the Badger Guns’ case but just didn’t want to hear them gloat.
There are some things there were not said in the press release below. First and foremost is the fact that Brady Center attorneys Jonathan Lowy and Alla Lefkowitz were removed from the case and censured by the Wisconsin Supreme Court for legal improprieties.
Second, the “89 people dying every day from guns” statement by Dan Gross gives the impression that all 32,000 plus of those deaths were the direct result of the illegal use of a firearm as well as that firearm being sold improperly by a Federally license dealer. However, the reality is that that number includes suicides, hunting accidents, criminals shot and killed by the police, and, yes, people who were murdered. According to the latest mortality data from the CDC, there were 11,208 homicides using a firearm in 2013. There were 41,149 self-inflicted deaths in 2013 of which about half involved the use of a firearm. As Dan Gross and the coterie of public health researchers in the pockets of the anti-rights movement know, adding suicide numbers grossly distorts the real issue.
Third, the use of the term “gun companies” gives the impression that a straw purchase is the fault of the manufacturer. This, of course, is incorrect. In this case, if the FFL was truly negligent, then the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act worked as intended because negligent acts are not protected by it.
WASHINGTON, DC – In a landmark decision, a Milwaukee jury yesterday found Badger Guns responsible for the illegal sale of a gun that was used to seriously injure two police officers. Lawyers from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence brought the case in 2010.
Until now, the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act has made such victories all but impossible, providing gun companies unique legal protections in many cases when they negligently sell or make a gun that ends up being used in a crime.
Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign & Center to Prevent Gun Violence said: “This case should serve as a warning to all gun dealers who resort to irresponsible and unsafe business practices. You must be responsible corporate citizens or the Brady Center will hold you accountable. With 89 people dying every day from guns, Americans have had enough of the special rules that make gun companies richer and place ordinary people in danger of being shot and killed.”
The Milwaukee jury awarded over $5 million to the two police officers, finding Badger Guns responsible for the sale to a straw purchaser because the store knew or had reasonable cause to believe that the sale was illegal.
Jonathan Lowy, Director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, who successfully argued against the dealer’s motions to dismiss and summary judgment, said: “Two brave officers and an extraordinary trial lawyer, Pat Dunphy, made history yesterday, and they made America a safer place. Most gun dealers are decent, responsible business people who already do what they can to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But to those dealers who choose to irresponsibly supply and profit from the criminal market, the message from Milwaukee is clear: protect people over profits, or you will have to pay the consequences to your victims.”
The Brady Center, along with the law firm of Cannon & Dunphy of Brookfield, Wisconsin brought the lawsuit in 2010 on behalf of two police officers injured in the line of duty, Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch. Patrick Dunphy tried the case for the officers, assisted by Brett Eckstein.