- March 24 - In an ad published in today's Roll Call by the Brady
Campaign United With the Million Mom March, a former New Jersey
police officer blasts NRA-supported bills introduced in the Senate
and House of Representatives that would provide unprecedented
immunity from lawsuits to the gun industry. The bills would override
last week's ruling by a West Virginia court allowing former Orange
County Detective Kenneth McGuire to proceed with his lawsuit against
a West Virginia gun dealer. In the ad, Detective McGuire implores
Congress: "A reckless gun dealer almost cost me my life.
Don't let the gun lobby and Congress put him above the law."
The ad recounts
the role of the dealer, Will's Jewelry and Loan of South Charleston,
West Virginia, in supplying the 9-mm Ruger semiautomatic pistol
used by a career criminal to wound Officer McGuire and his partner,
Detective David Lemongello, in a shoot-out in January, 2001.
Six months before the shooting, the pistol was one of 12 handguns
sold by Will's to a "straw purchaser" for a gun trafficker
in a single transaction. In three separate visits to Will's,
the straw purchaser and trafficker bought 22 guns in one month.
The lawsuit charges the dealer with negligence and contributing
to a public nuisance by engaging in large-volume sales to a
purchaser who clearly intended to supply the illegal market.
legislation, introduced as S. 659 by NRA Board Member Senator
Larry Craig (R-Id.) in the Senate and H.R. 1036, introduced
by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla) in the House, would give unprecedented
special immunity from lawsuits to gun sellers. In introducing
the bill last week, Senator Craig stated that the lawsuits affected
by the bill "are not brought by individuals seeking relief
for injuries done to them by anyone in the industry." As
Officer McGuire's suit shows, Senator Craig's statement is flatly
Barnes, president of the Brady Campaign United With the Million
Mom March said, "Any Senator or Representative who supports
legal immunity for the gun industry should explain to Officer
McGuire, his partner Detective Lemongello and gun violence victims
like them, why their rights are being taken away."
legislation also would threaten the lawsuit recently filed by
victims of the D.C.-area sniper shootings against the Tacoma,
Washington gun shop from which the Bushmaster assault rifle
used by the suspected snipers mysteriously disappeared. The
assault rifle was reported stolen by Bull's Eye Shooter Supply
only after law enforcement authorities confiscated it after
arresting the suspected snipers. According to a federal search
warrant, over 230 other guns are recorded "missing"
from Bull's Eye in the last three years.
To see today's
ad and to learn more about the NRA's dangerous, special interest
legislation, visit us online: