Blumenthal embarrassed on gun suits, again

by Walter Olson on August 6, 2003

Headline-grabbing Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal, whom we’ve slammed in this space previously for filing a dubious antitrust action aimed at punishing gun companies for having acted vigorously to stay out of the Clinton administration’s abortive Smith & Wesson deal, has just suffered an embarrassing defeat in his state’s high court. Blumenthal claimed that an email sent by one gun maker constituted proof that gun companies had acted criminally in resisting the S&W deal. But the Connecticut Supreme Court, hardly an assemblage of Second Amendment enthusiasts, has just ruled unanimously that Blumenthal’s claim was false. “[T]he e-mail reveals nothing that suggests an intent to break the law,” wrote Justice Joette Katz for the court. ” … Furthermore, to the extent that the e-mail refers to any action, it is the actions of others, and not of the respondents; it neither advocates that Kimber take any action of its own, nor that others take a particular action.” The new decision upholds the 2001 ruling of Hartford Superior Court Judge Vanessa Bryant that the e-mail was patently an “update of [firearms] litigation developments and does not advocate any criminal or illegal activity.” Will Blumenthal apologize? Will he finally start getting bad press? We’re not getting our hopes up (Thomas B. Scheffey, “Accidentally Sent Gun Industry E-Mail Found to Be Privileged”, Connecticut Law Tribune, Aug. 5).