Bloomberg gun lawsuits will go on

by David Nieporent on August 23, 2007

Last year, New York City Mayor Bloomberg filed federal lawsuits against bunches of gun stores across the country; we’ve covered these suits extensively. (See, e.g. May 2006, Jun. 2006, Sep. 2006). NYC sent people to stores in places such as Georgia, Ohio, Virginia and South Carolina; these city agents then conducted “stings” in which they made supposedly illegal firearms purchases. Bloomberg then sued these stores, claiming that the guns were ending up in New York City and that the stores should for some reason be liable for this.

Somehow, despite the fact that whatever illegal sales took place did so in Georgia, Ohio, Virginia and South Carolina, the suit ended up in the Brooklyn courtroom of federal Judge Jack Weinstein, the man who has never seen a products liability case he couldn’t endorse. The gun stores moved to dismiss the suits on the grounds that New York courts have no jurisdiction.

Last week, Weinstein rejected the gun stores’ motion in a 99 page opinion (PDF) replete with anti-gun rhetoric (about criminals who “terrorize” the city and descriptions of guns as “Saturday Night Specials”) and citations to his own decisions in previous gun-litigation cases (Jul. 2003) So the suits will continue; a trial date has been set for January.

Republican presidential-non-candidate Fred Thompson doesn’t think much more of these suits than we do.

{ 9 comments }

1 P 08.23.07 at 10:57 am

I dunno. I mean, if the agents let it be known that they plan to carry the guns across state lines to a place where it’s pretty much common knowledge that firearms are tightly regulated…I dunno. I’m not a lawyer.

2 ff 08.23.07 at 11:41 am
3 jamrat 08.23.07 at 1:00 pm

I’m getting “page not found” at the Weinstein link.

[DMN: Oops. Fixed.]

4 Anonymous Attorney 08.23.07 at 5:29 pm

We can be thankful that the Second Circuit is more considered.

What gets me about the gun lawsuits is that you’ve basically got big-city liberals who want to blame gun violence on out-of-state rural gun dealers instead of the urban thugs actually committing the violence. Common sense tells us where the blame should lie, but the ideology of folks like Bloomberg is that evil red-staters, not his precious blue-staters, are to blame for the problems. What a joke.

5 Supremacy Claus 08.23.07 at 5:39 pm

Judicial hellhole biased venues in the South are attacking northern corporations, and seeking to plunder them. The unfairness of this case has symmetry.

6 ben tillman 08.23.07 at 11:20 pm

How in the world do these defendants end up agreeing to the jurisdiction of out-of-state courts? Seems like extreme malpractice to me.

These dealers and their lawyers and customers need to get some cajones and sue the City of New York and its pet judges for conspiracy to deprive Americans of their civil rights.

[DMN: They didn't "agree." In fact, they challenged the jurisdiction; that was the subject of this decision by Judge Weinstein. He rejected their challenge and found that the New York courts have jurisdiction.]

7 E-Bell 08.24.07 at 8:08 am

Over at David Hardy’s blog, Of Arms and the Law, there is some speculation about why Judge Weinstein continually gets assigned to hear anti-gun suits, even though judicial assignments are supposed to be random.

8 Rob McDaniels 08.24.07 at 10:49 pm

Its worse than you think.

Smoking was allowed in these Indiana, KY and SC gun shops, a flagrant violation of NYC law.

And transfats were present. If you going to do business with someone who may live 1,000 miles, KNOW THE LAW!

9 Deoxy 08.27.07 at 10:33 am

I’m with that first poster: the “agents” who conducted these “stings” should be in prison for violating the law. They had no authority for what they did, and they’ve voluntarily produced the proof that they committed the acts… of course, generally, law-enforcement protects its own (human nature, you know), so I don’t expect anything to come of it.

And yes, these cases are absolutely crockery.

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