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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » $6 Million Lawsuit Rattles Gun Industry

$6 Million Lawsuit Rattles Gun Industry

gun-industry-lawsuitIn 2009, two Milwaukee police officers were severely injured in a shooting that involved an illegally purchased gun. The pair filed a lawsuit against Badger Guns, the store where the weapon was purchased — something rarely attempted due to the comprehensive barriers in legislation that protect gun retailers and manufacturers.

However, the case finally closed on Tuesday when jurors ruled in favor of the officers. Such a loss for any branch of the gun industry is almost unprecedented. And although $6 million is a lot of money, the biggest problem the gun industry could be facing is an increase in lawsuits from citizens who now know the industry can be both battled and defeated.

David and Gunliath

Why were officers Graham Kunisch and Bryan Norberg successful pursuing damages from a from a historically un-suable gun retailer? Truth be told, they got lucky: the criminals who illegally purchased the gun responsible for injuring Kunisch and Norberg were not careful. At all.

Julius Burton fired the gun. But his accomplice Jacob Collins bought it. Yes — under the watchful gaze of Badger Guns’s surveillance cameras, Collins is captured filling out all the necessary paperwork, and right behind him is Burton, apparently making sure he’s thorough. Collins spent almost an hour on the allegedly straightforward purchasing forms. It’s all on footage, right down to the part when Collins accidentally marked that he was NOT the recipient of the gun, correcting the error with a scribble.

If Collins and Burton had been even a little bit more cautious, Badger Guns would probably be holding onto their $6 million. The cards are so stacked in favor of gun retailers and manufacturers that this is Badger Guns’s first loss in the courtroom, despite there having been 500+ guns involved in past cases that were reportedly tracked back to its inventory.

A Chink in the Armor

One reason why the gun industry should be worried is due to the heated debate about gun restrictions, fueled by America’s ongoing string of mass shootings. Everybody thinks something needs to be done, but nobody can agree on exactly what that should be. Still, until now, nothing has really happened to tip the odds in favor of those who support increased gun restrictions. Lawsuits against gun stores and manufacturers have traditionally been ineffective due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act — a law passed in 2005 that granted a wide range of immunities to the entire industry. Why waste time and money pursuing a case you’re  guaranteed to lose?

The Milwaukee officers’ success in pursuing damages from Badger Guns has proved that the industry does have a chink in its legal armor. People who might have otherwise been too doubtful to proceed with legal action now have a documented case to reference and use as a template for their own lawsuits. Not all victims are likely to be as fortunate with evidence as Kunisch and Norberg, but at least there’s now a tangible demonstration of what a winning case looks like.

Tennessee Gun Possession Law

The state of Tennessee is pretty relaxed in terms of gun ownership restrictions. No permits are required for adults over the age of 18 to purchase a rifle or shotgun. Minors are allowed to own these types of firearms under certain conditions. Like other states in which hunting and other such activities are popular, Tennessee makes it easy for its citizens to have access to the necessary sporting goods: guns.

Handguns are a little bit harder to get — these require background checks and a small fee for legal adults. Citizens still don’t have to have a permit to simply own them, but one is necessary for concealed carry. Minors are even allowed to have them for a limited variety of sporting activities. To obtain a concealed carry permit, one must be 21 years of age or older, complete another background check, provide photos and fingerprints, and wait up to 90 days. Drug addicts, foreigners, felons, and offenders of various other crimes are among the few who are not qualified to purchase guns in Tennessee.

Hire Weapons Charges Attorneys in Nashville

At Turner Law Offices, P.C., our team has years of experience working with clients across a wide range of cases involving weapons convictions. If you’re facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm or otherwise violating Tennessee’s gun control legislation, we know the most efficient means of pursuing a satisfactory resolution. Call today, or go online to set up your Free Initial Consultation, and meet with a skilled lawyer who can get you on track toward the justice you deserve.

(615) 259-2660

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