New Gun Control Lobby-Funded Lawsuit Targeting Magazine Manufacturer

AP Photo/John Minchillo

With the gun control lobby unable to advance its agenda in Congress, activists are turning to the other branches of government to target the right to keep and bear arms. We’ve seen executive branch actions like the ATF’s attempt to declare pistols equipped with stabilizing braces short barreled rifles and the nomination of longtime gun control lobbyist David Chipman to head up the ATF, but we’re also witnessing a renewed focus on the judicial branch on the part of groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady.

Despite the fact that gun control activists are terrified of what the Supreme Court might do with some of their favorite laws like New York’s subjective “may issue” carry permits, the anti-gun groups clearly still see the court system as a path forward in their efforts to take down the firearms industry. Even the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act isn’t seen as much of a roadblock at the moment, especially with judges around the country ruling that lawsuits targeting gun companies for their marketing practices are acceptable under the PLCAA.

Most of these recent lawsuits have been directed at gun manufacturers and firearms retailers, but on Monday the gun control group Brady announced that it’s suing the maker of an ammunition magazine used in a mass shooting in Dayton back in 2019.

The lawsuit, filed on Sunday on behalf of the families of four victims of the Oregon District tragedy, alleges that the mass shooting was only made possible by the 100-round drum sold by Kyung Chang Industry USA Inc (KCI).

“Almost 60% of mass shootings involved high-capacity magazines,” said Ben Cooper, an attorney with Columbus-based law firm Cooper Elliott. “We see it over and over: Aurora, Newtown, Las Vegas, Parkland and we saw it in Dayton.”

“If the Dayton shooter did not have such a large-capacity magazine, he would not have been able to inflict the damage that he did,” Cooper said. “No civilian needs a 100-round magazine ― it’s only useful for the military or mass shootings.”

Cooper said the lawsuit is intended to get KCI, and a related South Korean company, to stop selling dangerous products in dangerous ways.

Brady, a national gun violence prevention organization, and Columbus-based law firm Cooper Elliott jointly filed the wrongful death lawsuit against (KCI) and its related South Korean company alleging negligence, negligent entrustment and public nuisance.

In essence, the lawsuit alleges that the manufacture of a 100-round magazine is a negligent act and a public nuisance, since the Protection of Lawful Commerce allows for litigation based on claims of negligence.

Brady’s argument is basically that there’s no “need” for 100-round magazines, so therefore they shouldn’t be allowed to be sold because they could be used in the commission of crimes. They also claim that if the shooter hadn’t possessed a 100-round magazine that fewer people would have been killed or injured, though there’s no way for the plaintiffs to actually back that up with evidence.

This is the type of litigation that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act is supposed to protect against, but whether or not that actually happens is going to be up to a judge. Let’s hope that the law is followed, and this junk lawsuit is quickly tossed into the circular file.

Sep 22, 2021 6:30 PM ET