The Louisville bank shooting was an odd mass shooting. Much of that is because the killer actually was motivated by a desire for gun control. He hoped he could kill enough people that suddenly, everyone would support anti-gun efforts.
Yes, it’s insane, but sane people don’t shoot up banks, particularly ones they worked at.
It seems that no matter what we know about the killer, though, there are people out there who want to encourage this sort of thing. Including, it seems, some of the survivors.
I say that because those survivors are now suing the gun store where the killer bought his weapon.
A lawsuit filed Monday in Jefferson County claims a local gun store overlooked red flags when selling an AR-15-style rifle that was eventually used to kill five in the April mass shooting at Old National Bank.
The circuit court lawsuit is filed on behalf of six plaintiffs against Louisville gun shop River City Firearms.
The plaintiffs are: Julie Andersen, Jimmy Evans, Dana Mitchell and Stephanie “Dallas” Schwartz, who were all injured in the attack but survived; and the families of James Tutt and Joshua Barrick, who were killed.
Louisville attorney Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices, along with Antonio Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin in Chicago and Alla Lefkowitz of the national group Everytown Law, represent the plaintiffs, who are seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Romanucci & Blandin currently represent victims of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, where 19 fourth-grade students were killed, along with three adults, in May 2022.
In other words, it’s an anti-gun law firm that likes to swoop in after mass shootings and then sue everyone they think they can get away with suing.
They also seem to labor under the impression that gun stores can see into the very soul of gun buyers.
The PLCAA was meant to prevent lawsuits like this, but there are exceptions where a gun store is, in fact, liable. That’s when they blatantly miss actual red flags.
Did that happen here?
Well, they say it did, but let’s see their examples.
Sturgeon told the clerk he wanted a firearm because a friend’s home had recently been burglarized, per his own notes that were included in LMPD’s November report — “indicating that he wanted to buy an AR-15 for home defense, a use for which an AR-15 is particularly poorly suited for a novice shooter,” the complaint states.
Yes, an anti-gun attorney is definitely the one to trust as to whether an AR-15 is good for home defense or not.
It should be noted that a lot of people prefer the weapon for just that purpose.
As for the killer being a novice, here’s apparently where that information comes from
The complaint also mentions a witness who was inside River City Firearms during Sturgeon’s purchase and who said he “demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge or experience with firearms and that he spoke in an unusually quiet tone and appeared embarrassed upon making eye contact with others, lowering his head and averting his gaze.”
Sturgeon’s interactions at River City Firearms left “such an impression” on the woman that after his 20 minutes at the store, she considered calling police.
“Louisville is a big, small town,” Thomas said. “The woman who was at the gun shop was familiar with some of the people that worked at Old National Bank, so that is how the name got over to us.
“We interviewed her, and frankly, it was shocking that someone who doesn’t sell firearms for a living would be able to recognize immediately that someone like Connor didn’t need to be purchasing a firearm like this.”
When news of the shooting broke, according to the complaint, the woman turned to her husband and said, “I bet it’s that kid from the store.”
If this bit is completely true–and I’m personally skeptical–we need to remember that a lot of people are buying guns for the first time in a society that has tried to demonize it. Being a little embarrassed or chagrined at making the sale would look an awful lot like what we’re seeing described here.
Now, I get that the Louisville shooter was, at that time, not showing a lot of experience with guns, but in a lot of places, you need a gun to learn how to shoot a gun. Some places don’t have rental ranges or places you can borrow a gun for a class. You need your own.
So someone being completely unfamiliar with a firearm while wanting to buy one isn’t unusual. It’s how they build familiarity, after all.
But it seems other purchases the Louisville shooter made are also problematic.
The complaint also alleges that while River City failed to stop the transaction, it also used it to “embolden the novice shooter and made him more deadly” by selling three additional 30-round magazines, a red-dot sight to increase accuracy and a vertical grip that allows greater control of the weapon.
I might note, however, that a novice AR-15 owner looking to use such a weapon for home defense might well opt for these exact same products.
At the end of the day, though, what we see here is a lawsuit that really doesn’t have anything to do with Louisville in and of itself. It’s about punishing someone who committed a lawful sale because someone after the fact thinks they should have seen what wasn’t necessarily clear from the start.
It’s an anti-gun law firm with an anti-gun agenda, one tied to Everytown for Gun Safety, looking to score political points by collecting a small business scalp and pretending they’re somehow making the country safer.
At the same time, they’ll try to convince us that things like Stand Your Ground laws are bad and that we can absolutely trust that no one will come along after the fact and Monday morning quarterback an armed encounter, all while they’re doing it to a simple gun sales.