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Gun controllers have a new strategy: suing gun retailers out of business. Notably, Second Amendment foes are suing gun retailers over mass shootings.
For example, Walmart is being sued over a 2014 killing spree in Overland Park, Kansas, NPR reports. Walmart is being sued because it sold a shotgun to John Reidle.
Particularly, lawyers allege that Reidle bought the gun for his buddy Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. The shotgun is one of two weapons Cross used in a murder spree at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park.
Unremarkably, Cross is on death row for killing three people. Additionally, Reidle faces felony charges for acting as a straw buyer. Notwithstanding, victims’ families blame Walmart and so they are now suing the discount giant.
Suing Gun Retailers To End Firearms Sales
Astonishingly, survivors are not suing gun retailers for money. Instead, gun controllers themselves hope to discourage firearms sales by suing gun retailers.
Gun controllers want to increase the expense and hassle of gun sales with the lawsuits. Consequently, suing gun retailers discourages firearms sales even when courts throw out the cases.
For instance, a retailer has to pay attorneys to litigate an unsuccessful lawsuit. Lawsuits also generate negative publicity that big companies like Walmart want to avoid.
Why Gun Controllers Are Suing Walmart Over A Mass Shooting
Walmart is facing two lawsuits over Cross’s 2014 shooting spree because Reidle bought a gun that a killer used at one of its stores.
To explain, Reidle is a straw buyer or front man for Cross. Cross picked out the weapon and started the purchase. Nonetheless, Reidle completed a federal background check and paid for the shotgun.
Attorneys for victim Terri LaManno assert that Walmart violated federal law by letting Reidle complete the purchase. Attorneys blame Walmart because its employees could not read Reidle’s mind.
Anti-Gun Groups Suing Gun Retailers To End Firearms Sales
Reidle claimed he was a gun collector and did not behave suspiciously. Walmart employees then sold him the shotgun after completing the background check. Therefore, Walmart is not violating any law.
The lawsuits against Walmart are a gun control-tactic because a gun control group is behind one of them. Specifically, attorney Jon Lowy of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is assisting with one suit, NPR states.
Altogether, the Brady Center is using their lawsuits to discourage big retailers like Walmart from selling firearms. Gun controllers likely chose the Overland Park case because Cross is an alleged anti-Semite and white supremacist. In addition, Cross’s use of a straw buyer (Reidle) was blatant and clumsy in this case.
Will Suing Gun Retailers End Firearms Sales?
Suing gun retailers over shootings is hard because of federal law. In fact, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act prohibits most lawsuits against gun makers and retailers.
Still, gun controllers think they have found a loophole that can lead to successful suits against firearms retailers, NPR claims. Anti-gun attorneys are arguing that retailers have a legal obligation not to sell guns to the wrong people.
Moreover, gun controllers are trying to force retailers to settle lawsuits out of court. Because of this, they can collect large settlements without facing a judge or jury.
As an illustration, Lowy forced the Odessa Pawn & Gun Shop in Missouri to pay a $2.2 million out of court settlement in 2016. Specifically, Lowy asserts that the shop violated the law by selling a gun to a schizophrenic woman. The woman used the gun to kill her father.
Second Amendment Foes Suing Gun Retailers With New Legal Tactic
In particular, Lowy based his case on a legal doctrine called “negligent entrustment” which attorneys widely use in drunk-driving lawsuits.
To clarify, negligent entrustment occurs when a person knowingly gives an irresponsible person a dangerous product. As a result, a bartender who sells martinis to a drunk is liable for a drunk-driving accident.
Lowy is alleging that gun retailers commit negligent entrustment whenever they sell a weapon to a person who misuses it. For example, a gun shop owner is liable if one of its customers commits suicide with a weapon sold under Lowy’s interpretation of negligent entrustment.
The Suing Gun Retailers Strategy Could Restrict Your Access To Firearms
Lowy does not have to win cases to stop retailers from selling guns, however. Instead, all he needs to do is scare retailers with the threat of a negligent entrustment lawsuit.
These lawsuits scare big retail because they generate negative media coverage. Lowy can generate such coverage by sending out hysterical press releases accusing retailers of selling guns to murderers.
Retailers cannot sue Lowy for liability because he bases the press releases on his lawsuit. To elaborate, a lawsuit is news which the First Amendment protects.
Given these circumstances, big retailers like Walmart are likely to drop gun sales completely. For this reason, gun controllers can use negligent entrustment to restrict your access to firearms by suing gun retailers.
You may also enjoy reading an additional Off The Grid News article: The “Red Flag” Gun Law Murders Begin
What are your thoughts on the liberal scheme of suing gun retailers out of business? Let us know in the comments below.