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Just saw on CNN Ill Supreme Court says go for law suit against dealers and makers! How many more of these stupid law suits are going to be allowed? Talk about shifting responsabality. I think the next time i get in an accident with a drunk i will sue the liquor makers and the car makers for letting adrunk person drive. this just burns my a###!!! Dont mind me, just ranting, stupid lawyers, and judges, should sue their parents for raising stupid kids!!!
 

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I know what you're saying, but you can't sue a the liquor companies because lawyers drink and don't have a vendetta against them like they do the gun companies. Liquor kills a whole lot of people every year but nobody seems to mind. It's too bad, because the more if this that goes on the more gun companies we may lose. And even if we don't lose any we'll probably get more stupid "safety devices" added on to the even-more-expensive guns.
 

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Illinois or Indiana? I just found this:

Gary's gun lawsuit gets go-ahead
Ruling by state's top court may set stage for trial

Ruling's excerpts
• "The essence of the city's claim is that handgun manufacturers, distributors and dealers conduct their business in a manner that unreasonably interferes with public rights in the city of Gary and therefore have created a public nuisance."
• "The city asserts that defendants rely upon the laxness of dealers and employees and the ingenuity of criminals to ensure that thousands of handguns find their way into the illegal secondary market."
• "The city claims that manufacturers are on notice of the concentration of illegal handgun sales in a small percentage of dealers but facilitate (these) sales by failing to curtail supply."

Companies named in suit
Following are some of the gun manufacturers and dealers targeted by the city of Gary's lawsuit:
• Smith & Wesson Corp.: Springfield, Mass., maker of revolvers and other firearms
• Beretta USA Corp.: Accokeek, Md., arms manufacturer
• Colt's Manufacturing Corp.: Hartford, Conn., maker of pistols, rifles and other firearms
• Hi-Point Firearms Corp.: Mansfield, Ohio-based gun maker
• B.L. Jennings Inc.: Carson City, Nev., sporting goods company
• Bryco Arms Corp.: Costa Mesa, Calif., company that sells small arms and ammunition
• Phoenix Arms Corp.: Phoenix company selling guns, ammunition and ammunition reloading equipment
• Lorcin Engineering Corp.: Mira Loma, Calif., small arms manufacturer
• Taurus Firearms Corp.: Hialeah, Fla., maker of pistols, rifles and ammunition
Other companies:
• Browning Arms Corp.
• Charter Arms Corp.
• Davis Industries
• Glock Corp.
• Navegar Inc.
• Sturm, Ruger & Co.

Key dates in Gary's gun lawsuit
• August 1999: After an undercover investigation finds gun dealers selling weapons to gang members and felons, Mayor Scott King and the city of Gary file a lawsuit in Lake Superior Court against gun manufacturers and dealers. The lawsuit names 21 defendants.
• December 1999: Mayor Scott King announces a $10,000 settlement had been reached with one of the gun dealers, Fetla Trading Co. of Valparaiso, which also agreed to stop selling guns in return for being dropped from the lawsuit.
• March 2001: Lake Superior Court Judge James Richards dismisses Gary's lawsuit, ruling it unconstitutional and saying the city cannot fault businesses beyond its jurisdiction for the crimes committed by others. The city files an appeal.
• September 2002: The Indiana Court of Appeals rules that Gary can proceed with its suit against three local gun dealers: Cash Indiana of Burns Harbor and Lake Station, Ameri-Pawn of Lake Station and Blythe's Sport Shop of Valparaiso.
• February 2003: The Indiana Supreme Court hears arguments in the Gary gun case.
Sources: Star archives, The Associated Press, The Indiana Lawyer



By Kevin Corcoran
[email protected]
December 24, 2003


The Indiana Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for the city of Gary to sue gun manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors over allegations that they sold handguns they knew were likely to end up in the hands of criminals.

In a decision that could prove far-reaching, the state high court also ruled that this northwestern Indiana city, the state's fifth largest, can pursue its claim that handguns sold without safety devices such as gun locks are negligently designed.

The 5-0 ruling clears the way for a trial in Lake Superior Court unless Congress votes to ban lawsuits against the gun industry by municipalities and the victims of gun violence. Gary is among 33 municipalities that have sued the industry.

The U.S. House voted 285-140 on April 9 in favor of a sweeping ban on gun lawsuits. Similar legislation is pending before the Senate.

Gary officials sued Smith & Wesson Corp. and other gun makers in August 1999 with help from the Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

"We're very pleased by this decision," Gary Mayor Scott King said. "We should be given the opportunity to be heard. What is the gun industry so afraid of?"

After Gary filed suit, the Indiana General Assembly acted in its 2000 session to ban lawsuits by other municipalities in the state.

In March 2001, Lake Superior Court tossed out the negligence and public nuisance case against 11 gun manufacturers, one wholesaler and five retailers, including Cash America, all of whom the city alleges knowingly sold handguns to people who could not legally buy them.

Indiana's Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Theodore Boehm, became the second state top court to uphold a municipality's right to sue gun manufacturers to recover taxpayer money spent as a result of gun-related violence. Ohio, in June 2002, became the first to allow such lawsuits.

In court papers, Gary officials likened their lawsuit to trying to recover the cost of cleaning up a toxic waste spill.

"The court here held that if gun manufacturers and distributors are supplying criminals, Gary should be able to go to court to stop it," said Daniel Vice, an attorney with the Brady Center. "This ruling is important, especially coming now."

Gary's mayor, King, said he's troubled by the pending congressional legislation -- even though he doesn't think Congress can halt a lawsuit already in progress.

His city of 102,746 along the Lake Michigan shoreline -- best known for riverboat casinos, steel production, and a high homicide rate -- wants to:

• Halt the sale of guns without safety devices.

• Prohibit gun makers from doing business with disreputable firearms dealers.

• Collect financial damages.

The National Rifle Association declined to comment on the lawsuit, saying it's not involved.

But Lawrence Keane, the National Shooting Sports Federation's vice president and general counsel, said he was disappointed that the Indiana Supreme Court decided to allow a trial on such a "reckless lawsuit." His trade group, which represents gun manufacturers, was dismissed earlier as a defendant in the Gary lawsuit.

Keane hopes action by Congress will trump Indiana law. But he said manufacturers, coming off cases in which lawsuits have been dropped or thrown out in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Ohio, are ready for further legal proceedings in Gary.

Dozens of municipalities have sued, but so far none of the cases has gone to trial. Lawsuits brought by the cities of New York and Gary are closest. But obtaining industry documents and sworn testimony in the Gary case to prepare for trial could take at least two more years, according to a member of the city's legal team.

Gary's success came as a pleasant surprise to Kathleen George, president of Hoosiers Concerned About Gun Violence, an Indianapolis nonprofit group formed in the early 1990s. Last month, her group honored King for standing up to gun makers.

"This is the best Christmas present I've received so far," George said.

But gun advocates harshly criticized the Indiana ruling as another case of trial lawyers run amok in a lawsuit-happy society.

"This is just completely ludicrous," said Jerry Wehner, president of the Indiana State Rifle & Pistol Association.

"Gary has a horrendous crime problem, and they blame everybody else for it. They're to blame," the Rising Sun man said. "Guns aren't inherently wrong. This is about money."

Call Star reporter Kevin Corcoran at 1-317-615-2384.




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