Skip to comments.Gun firms pay out over US snipers
Posted on 09/10/2004 7:21:07 AM PDT by politicalvanguard.com
Victims of the sniper shootings in Washington DC and their families have settled a lawsuit they brought against a gun company and a gun dealer. They had sued the two companies for negligent distribution of weapons.
Lawyers representing the victims' families described the settlement as historic. They believe it could change practices across the firearms industry.
Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, who sold the rifle used in the shootings, agreed to pay the families $2m.
Bushmaster Firearms, who made the gun, settled on a half-a-million dollar payout.
The deal with Bushmaster is the first time a gun manufacturer in the United States has agreed to pay damages for negligent distribution of weapons.
The sniper shootings terrorised areas around Washington DC two years ago.
Ten people were shot dead with a Bushmaster rifle.
John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice, Lee Malvo, have so far been found guilty on one count of murder.
Lawyers representing Bushmaster said they had decided to settle to avoid rising legal costs and stressed there was no admission of liability on their part.
But as part of the settlement, the company has agreed to educate its dealers on gun safety.
Evidently the gun manufacturer learned nothing from the tobacco settlement. Unbelievable.
And pork sausage, cars, sharp pencils, shaving razors, etc, etc, etc.
TIME TO EXTERMINATE ALL STINKING LAWYERS!
I mean, it sounds like they were giving away rifles in a prison exercise yard!
Are they suing the car manufacturer? He did shoot from the trunk. And what about the gasoline manufacturer? The scope manufacturer? Why we need Bush and tort reform...
Thousands of lawsuits will be brought up in any city block in Washington, DC!
Its sad the Bushmaster makes a fine product, but their legal department has no ammunition.
Killing an anarchist or a pacifist should not be defined as "murder" in a legalistic sense. The offense against the state, if any, should be "Using a deadly weapon inside city limits," or "Creating a traffic hazard," or "Endangering bystanders," or other misdemeanor.
--- Robert Heinlein
By my experience, Bushmaster is none too reliable and this news is disheartening, but not entirely unexpected. It IS bad news, but in the past, Bushmaster tried to take shooters to the cleaners back just before the AWB by freezing orders and trying to jack up prices - even on pre-paid orders. Those kind of sleazy ethics lead to this kind of weaseling.
I've never been a fan of bushmaster but I understand their reason for doing this. Unfortunately the result will be an explosion of stupid civil suits blaming the manufacturer for the misuse of an item that they make.
I'm boycotting bushmaster. (although I had already decided on a olympic arms lower)
Stupid dunderheaded management.
Due to their kowtowing, they'll now pay far more than $500,000 in lost sales.
Didn't they learn from S&W? For several years S&W products were boycotted from dealers' shelves.
"Bushmaster Responds to Brady Groups False Claim of Victory
Thursday September 9, 2004 9:24AM est
Windham, Maine -- The Washington DC Brady Group would have you believe they won some kind of victory! The Brady Group brought this lawsuit not for the victims, but for their anti-gun agenda. The Brady Group asked for the settlement conference after reviewing all the evidence they knew they could not be successful in court and they wanted to stop paying lawyer fees.
The Brady Group sent a second tier lawyer to the settlement conference with nine demands on Bushmaster regarding business practices and Bushmaster denied them all. We then gave the Brady Group our statement that we support the BATF licensing requirements to be a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) holder and our support for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) safety programs, and they accepted our statement. We did not agree and would not agree to change the way we do business or make any additional demands of our customers. We were emphatic that Bushmaster did not commit any wrong doings.
The attorney for our insurance company was at the settlement conference and informed us that about half of our policy limits had been spent on trial lawyers. It was the insurance companys position that all of the limit would be spent on this case, and therefore turned the funds over to Bushmaster to use as we saw fit removing the insurance company from the case. Our choice was to continue spending it on trial lawyers or turn it over directly to the victims families with no funds going to the Brady Group for their legal fees.
We felt the compassionate thing to do was give it to the victims families, not because we had to but because we wanted to. The Washington DC Brady Group should learn what compassion is really all about!
Bushmaster strongly believes and vigorously supports the rights of citizens to own and use firearms, and the settlement of this case in no way compromises that stand. The Brady Groups attempt at claiming a victory over firearms manufacturers is a hollow one with no substance. Their attempt to eliminate gun rights of citizens has failed legislatively and will continue to fail with these frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers.
Bushmaster Firearms, Inc."
They sued under a specific D.C. statute that gave victims of any shooting a right of action against the manufacturer of the gun for negligent distribution. Unless other states adopt similar statutes (which might be seen as unconstitutional attacks on interstate commerce) this likely won't have much impact.
OTOH, Cali has been considering just such a statute for some time.
DC is chock full of professional victims. Managed by idiots. BTW, DC has had a STRICT GUN BAN since 1974. NO GUNS ALLOWED. I guess that the criminals missed that sign.
As a Bushmaster customer this makes me furious.
Clearly they should now go after the suppliers of aluminum, steel and plastic who should have known that Bushmaster would make guns from them.
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