NRA preaching to the choir
Badger Guns, then known as Badger Outdoors, was once the top seller of guns later used in crimes in the whole country — selling 537 guns that were recovered from crime scenes in 2005 alone, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
When 18-year-old Julius Burton was looking to get his hands on a gun in 2009, he grabbed a 21-year-old friend and headed to Badger Guns where a sales associate helped his friend correct the paperwork for purchase of a semiautomatic pistol. The friend had correctly marked the box indicating that he was purchasing the gun for Burton, who was underage. Such an exchange, known as a “straw” purchase, is illegal and the Badger Guns shop clerk helped Burton’s friend cover up that slip of honesty, as seen on footage from the store’s surveillance video from that day.
The video also showed Burton pointing to the pistol, saying, “that’s the one that I want.”
A month later, Burton would use that gun to shoot Milwaukee police Officer Bryan Norberg and now-retired Officer Graham Kunisch in the face.
Kunisch lost an eye and suffered brain injury, forcing him to retire from the police department, but along with Norberg and the city of Milwaukee, he filed a lawsuit against Badger Guns in state court, charging that the shop clerk should have known that the purchase was illegal…
In fact, the officers’ lawsuit contends that between 2007 and 2009, six other Milwaukee cops were shot by weapons sold by Badger Guns.
The jury’s finding that Badger Guns was negligent and its award of of $3.6 million for Kunisch and $1.5 million, plus another $730,000 in punitive damages, for Norberg will be appealed but for now it stands as a landmark decision…
According to the New York Times, there are at least 10 other similar cases making their way up the courts across the country, including from two other Milwaukee officers shot by guns sold by Badger Guns…
Finally,a jury has put the NRA gun-flunkies on notice that one portion of our tripartite government will respond to irresponsible politics with justice.
I sincerely doubt that a majority of Congress will have the integrity to stand up on their hind legs and vote for any legislation defending the American people from a sickness worse than typhoid fever — the dementia that convinces grown men and women to believe that a rather ordinary assemblage of bureaucrats and politicians is out to take away their sacred firearm icons.
A Democrat presidential victory combined with any reasonable sorting out of Congress should make moderately sane laws possible. I hope the voters of America have the minimum of good sense in the period 2016-2020 to make it happen.
2 thoughts on “Court rules gun shop must pay millions to injured police officers”
For two years, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel has investigated how Congress created special rules for gun stores that protect even the biggest sellers of guns to criminals. The series reveals how gun store violations were erased with a simple ownership change, that the public can’t see violations because of secrecy laws and how felons can rent firearms at gun stores without a background check. See featured investigations, ongoing coverage and an interactive time line of the violations committed by the gun store where the weapon used to shoot the Milwaukee police officers was purchased http://www.jsonline.com/news/94182249.html
A judge upheld Seattle’s so-called gun violence tax on Tuesday, rejecting a challenge from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/12/22/judge-upholds-seattlegunviolencetax.html King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson dismissed arguments that Seattle’s tax, adopted this summer, exceeded the city’s authority under state law. The measure — a rarity of its kind in the U.S. — adds $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the city, plus 2 or 5 cents per round of ammunition, depending on the type. Officials expect it to raise up to $500,000 a year to help offset the costs of gun violence. The measure is set to take effect next month. …The NRA vowed to appeal the ruling, reported The Seattle Times. “It’s unfortunate the court choose to ignore the law and embrace the Seattle City Council’s anti-gun agenda,” the group’s spokesman Lars Dalseide said in a statement. The Second Amendment Foundation also promised an immediate appeal.” (Judge Robinson ruled the measure falls within the city’s taxing authority and is not an impermissible regulation). See also http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/judge-upholds-seattles-gun-and-ammunition-tax/