As we noted yesterday, the victory in a civil trial against Wisconsin’s Badger Guns by two Milwaukee Police officers was a big win for the firearms industry, gutting Hillary Clinton’s argument to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
PLCAA was signed into law in 2005 to prevent frivolous lawsuits against firearms dealers, distributors, and manufacturers.
Prior to that, gun control groups were attempting to bankrupt the industry by holding companies responsible for the unforeseen criminal misuse of their products. It was directly analogous to allowing people to sue car manufacturers and dealers for the actions of drunk or negligent drivers.
Amusingly, many gun control supporters seem to think that the Badger Guns case, which shows PLCAA works, actually helps them:
The jury decision finding a Wisconsin gun seller liable for selling a firearm that was used to shoot two police officers is a rare legal victory for gun control advocates that could open a new front in the nation’s contentious fight over the right to bear arms.
A jury on Tuesday held that Badger Guns, a Milwaukee firearms seller, was liable for the wounding of two Milwaukee police officers in 2009 after it sold a gun to a straw purchaser, who bought the weapon on behalf of someone else. The gun was purchased by 21-year-old Jacob Collins and given to 18-year-old Julius Burton, who was too young to buy a firearm. One month later, Burton shot and wounded officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch. Burton is now serving 80 years in prison while Collins spent two years behind bars.
Until recently, few cases have held gun dealers responsible for selling a firearm linked to a crime. Only two have reached a jury since 2005, when Congress passed the Protection for Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which provides broad immunity for gun sellers and was strongly supported by the National Rifle Association. Earlier this summer, a similar lawsuit found that an Alaska gun seller was not liable for a firearm it had sold that was later used in a 2006 murder.
But about 10 other lawsuits are currently in the works, including another suit against Badger Guns brought by two other Milwaukee officers who were shot with guns bought from the store, says Jonathan Lowy, the director of legal action at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. And the Milwaukee ruling could open the door for even more.
“Litigation is one of the most promising avenues to save lives,” Lowy said. “Any victory that’s achieved in court is going to inspire and help the movement to prevent gun violence, and this latest victory is certainly a very important one.”
They just don’t get it, do they?
The Badger Guns case strengthens the argument that the PLCAA works precisely as it should. Badger Guns conducted an obvious straw purchase that was caught on camera, and they’re going to be punished for it heavily, and possibly driven out of business if they lose their case (which has been appealed).
Every law-abiding gun owner should be overjoyed when unscrupulous dealers are shuttered… and their numbers are incredibly small as it is.
The increasingly irrelevant Brady Center files—and loses—frivolous cases with stunning regularity, and then they leave the plantiffs they’ve set up for failure on the hook, as they did Lonnie and Sandy Phillips after the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting. Brady goaded the Phillips’s into a lawsuit that attempted to hold several companies responsible for selling legal products over the Internet, including ammunition, magazines, and magazine-carrying equipment.
The judge in the suit threw out the absurd case, and held the plaintiffs responsible for the court costs. Brady skipped town. Lonnie and Sandy Phillips may lose their home as a result.
The Badger Guns case was a legitimate suit against an apparently unscrupulous company completing an obvious straw purchase. They’re being held accountable.
This is good.
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act keeps vultures like the Brady Campaign from being able to harass law-abiding and honorable American businesses, while still holding manufacturers and dealers responsible for product defects and criminal conduct, as any other manufacturer or dealer of consumer goods.
The Badger Guns case proves PLCAA works, and guts Hillary Clinton’s argument that the law doesn’t allow the prosecution of “bad” dealers.
This was yet another court victory for supporters of the Second Amendment.
Supporters of gun control just aren’t educated enough on the subject matter to understand how badly they’ve lost.