Skip to comments.Shooting victim bids on firm that made flawed gun
Posted on 08/12/2004 6:37:27 AM PDT by Former Military Chick
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A California teenager left paralyzed by an accidental shooting a decade ago placed a bid in federal bankruptcy court recently to buy the flawed handgun's manufacturer so he can shut it down.
Brandon Maxfield, 17, raised $175,000, much of it through his Web site, to buy bankrupt Bryco Arms of Costa Mesa, Calif. He wants to melt down 70,000 unassembled guns and close the company for good.
Bryco filed for bankruptcy in 2003 after a jury awarded the teenager $51 million in damages in a lawsuit.
Maxfield's bid to purchase Bryco was $25,000 more than the $150,000 accepted by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jerry Funk from Paul Jiminez, the company's former manager.
Ned Nashban, an attorney representing Bryco's owner, said the bidding process was over. But Richard Ruggieri, Maxfield's California attorney, disagreed, saying Funk could decide to sell to Maxfield since receiving the higher bid.
Bryco founder Bruce Jennings and his Nevada-based distribution company were ordered to pay $24 million of a $51 million judgment in Maxfield's lawsuit. Maxfield has received $8.7 million - none of it from Jennings or Bryco - from others named in the suit.
Days after the verdict, Jennings moved across the country to Florida, where he purchased a $500,000 annuity and a $900,000 home and hangar in Daytona Beach. He filed for personal bankruptcy and for bankruptcy for Bryco in Florida, where state law allows debtors to keep their houses.
Maxfield, a resident of Mendocino County north of San Francisco, was shot in 1994 by a baby sitter who was trying to unload a .380-caliber Bryco handgun. The shooting left him a quadriplegic. Because of the gun's design, its safety mechanism had to be released to unload the round in the semiautomatic's chamber.
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If this story is to be believed, this might be the first time I agree with suing the gun folks. It sounds like they did not act responsibility and indeed hid the fact of the safety.
While I am a staunch advocate of the Right to Bare Arms, this young man seems to have a valid case and his moxy should be applauded.
Dave and I discussed this, and if the facts as presented are true, it sounds like a defective gun.
This is of course my point of view. If there is more on this subject I would love to know more. The link below takes you to his site.
Frankly I would be interested in a discussion of this article if anyone is interested. Companies like this give those who are honest a bad name and a platform to scare.
Well, except maybe Jennings.
I prefer long sleeves myself but, to each his own. :=)
1. Always treat a gun like it is loaded
2. Always point a gun in a safe direction
3. Never point a gun at a person
Yep - Sounds like the gun's fault...
I think that means open carry
You can't get a round out of the chamber of a 1911, which is one of the most popular handguns of all time, without taking the safety off.
No firearm can make an operator follow the two most basic rules of firearm safety:
Always point the muzzle in a safe direection.
Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
P.S. Some people shouldn't "bare" their arms in public.
WTF??? Can anyone identify for me any semiauto pistol which can be cleared while the "safety" is engaged? Jennings may have been crap pistols, but the baby sitter was clearly violating Rule 2, and probably Rule 3 as well.
That Bryco, Jennings, etc has survived for so long sends a message, that poor people also have a right to bear arms.
Would I own one? Never, they're junk, but junk lawsuits helps to drive up the price of better guns.
I heard the other day that the Durham County Sheriffs office is pressuring local gun stores to not sell the High Standard handguns, too much gun for too little money. If High Standard .45s are showing up in the hands of gangbangers, whose fault is that? Who is prosecuting the straw buyers?
When will minorities and the poor wake up and realize that the Dems are slowly stripping them of their rights?
That welfare cheese could KILL someone.
Laz's Gun Safety Rules:
1. Don't sweat whether you unloaded your gun earlier. It's probably unloaded. So don't be such a worrywart!
2. It's fun to scare your friends by pointing your unloaded firearm at them. Watch their eyes get big!
3. Guns look a lot like toy guns. Toys are fun. Screw around a little! Life is short, have a little horseplay with your guns! Play cowboys and indians!
4. There is nothing a gun can harm that you can't fix up just as good as new later.
I have owned several Jennings pistols. They are reliable and unusually accurate. They are made of pot metal but otherwise a decent inexpensive gun.
Sure, four of them that I own: Beretta 92, Heckler & Koch P7M8, Walther PPK/s, and Glock 29 handguns can all be cleared without disengaging the mechanical safety.
I've heard the opposite from others.
NEVER let the muzzle cover anything you dont intend to destroy.....
At one time I owned over 200 mostly high end handguns, although I was forced to sell quite a few while in grad school.
The Jennings has a good rep among knowledgeable shooters as does the raven, another cheapie made by the same family.
If you own a Beretta I'll defer to your knowledge, as I do not. I had thought the safety locked the slide.
On the M1911 (and all its cousins), Browning Hi-Power, Ruger MkI/II the safetly also locks the slide.
No bias in this article is there? (/sarcasm)
On a Baretta/Taurus 92, you can pop the mag with the safety engaged. Ain't no way in hell to clear the chamber without first disengaging the safety. It's a slide stop that flips up.
What are you talking about? The safety on my 92 has nothing to do with the slide motion. I can open the chamber whether or not the safety is engaged.
No it's not. The "safety" on a B/T 92 is really just a decocking lever. The gun is intended to be carried in double action mode, with the decocking lever up (ready to fire). Regardless, my 92 will clear with the decocking lever in either position.
I don't own and haven't used any of those, so I defer to you on those models.
As far as the Glock and the H&K, well, there are "safeties" in the firearm - the Glock's is on the trigger, and the H&K is on the front of the grip. I guess it depends on what the meaning of the word "safety" is. ;-)
See that little lever? Flip it up over the red dot and try and pull back the slide.
Bullpuckey. Glocks don't have an external operator-controlled safety, but they do have redundant internal mechanical safeties.
"Safe Action" System
The "Safe Action" system consists of three (3) automatic independently operating mechanical safeties which are sequentially disengaged when pulling the trigger and which are automatically re-engaged when releasing the trigger.
Without actuating the trigger it is not possible that a shot is fired.
The revolutionary trigger system consists of:
Firing pin safety
Furthermore the "Safe Action" system provides a constant trigger pull weight and a constant trigger travel from the first shot up to the last shot. GLOCK pistols are safe when dropped, when they receive any other abnormal shocks and are fully functional at temperatures from -40° to +70° Celsius.
The GLOCK "Safe Action" system has revolutionized the handgun industry and has been widely adopted by law enforcement and other official users as well as commercial and competition/combat shooting areas due to its simple, fast, safe and reliable application.
The main advantage of the GLOCK "Safe Action" system is that is has no external safeties. Because of this, the user can fully concentrate on the tactical tasks required whilst being in a stress situation and does not need to think about any safeties to be deactivated.
You're right on Taurus. But Berettas don't have that little lever. They have a manual decocker.
I thought the Taurus 92 and the Baretta were nearly identical? I'm using Baretta clips in my Taurus. They work fine.
Even an unsafe gun should be pointed in a safe direction when loading, unloading, cleaning, etc...
Mine liked to stovepipe and it was not particularly accurate. And it wasn't really the gun's fault,but the grip was too small so the slide had a tendency to cut the webbing between the thumb an forefinger.
I like my revolvers much better. As soon as I find a Gun Buy Back, I will try to get rid of the Bryco.
So I can a replace it with new Springfield XD or, even better, a Winchester M1887 replica by Norinco...
Not me. I am much too refined for such plebian behavior. (sniff)
See the little lever marked "A"? Flipping it has nothing to do with the slide motion.
None of which can be "engaged" or "disengaged" in any manner meaningful to clearing the weapon. Point of order sustained. If you want to get technical, the M1911 and Hi-Power have several "safeties". Most, however, like the Glock's "safeties", are irrelevant to clearing the weapon. (Hi-Power has a magazine disconnect.)
Soon after that, they changed to a hammer drop safety which is the one on the U.S. military guns.
Beretta won a contract for some Brazilian military or police contract and set up a factor in Sao Paulo to manufacture them. When the contract was fulfilled, Taurus bought the tooling and began to make an identical gun. It was the early model with the early safety. Taurus now makes hammer drop safeties too.
Now I wouldn't try to use one in a bullseye match but I thought they were unusually accurate, especially so since the rifling was shallow.
I have an old issue of "Gun Test" magazine where they actually said the Raven was a better gun than a Smith & Wesson model 59, the reason being the model 59 was a jammer while the pot metal Raven was totally reliable.
Well I will have to admit you are a handome rascal.
Note to ignorant reporter: that's not a flaw, it's a failure of the imbecile who pointed the gun at another human being while manipulating a firearm. Unless, of course, one considers the 1911 flawed since I can't retract the slide witht he thumb safety engaged.
Libs/Dems would like to forget what a great civil rights organization the NRA is.
In the 50s, they provided surplus long guns to blacks in Monroe, NC who were being harassed and threatened by Night Riders (KKK).
Of course, we now know thanks to Michael Moore that the NRA and the KKK are closely affiliated.
The only people I've ever encountered who have problems with DA/SA transitions are people who lack an understanding of the fundamentals of trigger control, frankly.
So very wrong, go to Glock's site and learn for yourself.
Besides, mechanical safeties are only as good as the safety between one's ears. The babysitter blew it.
Sorry for the confusion.
1) Get off your high horse.
2) Do you know what Rule 2 and Rule 3 are?
I can't afford a better, small carry gun, so I dropped $100.00 and bought a Bryco .380. I've had it for 2 years, carry often and with the exception of the first type of ammo (hollow point)haven't had one jam. Last time at the range, I was hitting decent patterns at 20ft.
My brother has a Walther PPK .380. He paid $3-400 used and has chronic jamming problems.
Sure, it's cheap and poorly made, not designed to fire thousands of rounds, but I can't really find much to complain about. And, I've never shot anyone while unloading it. In fact, I never gave a thought that it was a defect to have to switch opff the safety to actuate the slide. That seems like common sense to me. Babysitter was wrong, and the victim has been turned into a dunce.
2) Do you know what Rule 2 and Rule 3 are?
1) There was nothing factually wrong with my post.
2) I didn't call a "point of order"
3) Do you know what you and the high horse you rode in on can do?
This was a horrible law suit. Explain to me how it's the gun company's fault that someone was stupid enough to point a gun at someone while unloading it?
And as far as having to disengage the safety to unload, this is the case with a lot of semi-auto guns. Heck, the glock 19 I carry doesn't even have a safety (using the classical definition of safety here) and I wouldn't carry any other way. If I pull the trigger it fires. If I pull the trigger while trying to unload it fires. If I point it at someone while pulling the trigger while unloading it fires.
So, in closing if I'm dumb enough to 1) point the gun at someone 2) take the safety off 3) try unloading the gun while still pointing it at someone, and 4) somehow pull or hit the trigger firing a shot into them, I'm the one that should be sued for 51 million, not the gun manufacturer!
Take a DA/SA pistol to an IPSC match, or even out to a hayfield and time your splits. And that's only playing around. In a real stress situation, you don't have fine trigger control. I've seen guys shoot beretta 92's well, but I sure wouldn't sneer at the benefits of a consistent trigger pull in a combat handgun. Why introduce complexity?
TCR has already delivered the appropriate response. The question was whether "anyone could identify [for you] any semiautomatic pistol that could be cleared without disengaging the safety."
Personally, my "safeties" begin with the brain, run through the muscles of my shoulder, arm & fingers, and end at the gun. If the responses you received regarding a wide variety of semiauto pistols that (1) have mechanical safeties; and (2) can be cleared without disengaging those mechanical safeties weren't satisfactory, it was because you asked a stupid - or at least an imprecise - question. Then you exacerbated the error by responding that the safeties on the pistols listed in response weren't real "safeties" (at least that's what I'm assuming from your ambiguous use of quotation marks) or that they weren't relevant to clearing the weapon. Based upon your responses, what you apparently intended to ask was: "Gosh, are there any guns out there that don't have a thumb safety [or possibly even a mag safety] that must be manually disengaged in order to rack the slide for the purpose of clearing the weapon?" Unfortunately for the rest of us, we couldn't read your secret question and only answered the one you posted.
Frankly, the only purpose of any safety is to assist mechanically in preventing the gun from going bang when some moron is negligent in the handling of that firearm and violates the rules of safe gun handling. I've never heard anyone argue that a safety isn't really a safety if it has to be manually engaged or disengaged in clearing a firearm - except you and apparently the jury in the stupid babysitter case. Your purported distinction is nonsensical and your responses to good faith replies to what other posters apparently believed was a good faith question - especially your ridiculous "point of order" - are just rude.
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