City of Gary's Suit Against
NEWTOWN, CT -- Declaring the City of Gary's suit against gun manufacturers an unconstitutional attempt to regulate interstate commerce, Lake County, Indiana Superior Court Judge James J. Richards on January 12 dismissed the city's case against 18 manufacturers, one distributor and six retailers.
In a strongly worded opinion, Judge Richards described the city's suit as a "radical departure" from established law and said the suit was an effort by the city and mayor at "arbitrary social reform" that sought to create a body of "judge made gun laws." The judge said the city's effort to hold firearms manufacturers responsible for injuries sustained through any use of firearms, including criminal and accidental shootings, was contrary to the public policy of Indiana which authorized and supported the "continued lawful, regulated manufacture and distribution of firearms to its citizens." The judge commented that the "legislatively authorized and extensively regulated" distribution and sale of firearms is "precisely the activity the city now seeks to declare a [public] nuisance." It is improper for the city to "characterize defendants as 'wrongdoers', where their activities are expressly allowed by the Indiana Constitution and Indiana legislature…," said Judge Richards.
"We are pleased by the court's ruling because the judge
put a stop to an unconstitutional attempt to bypass Congress and the
state legislature to regulate a responsible industry through litigation,"
said Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane of the National
Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's leading trade association.
"Gary's suit would not have saved a single life or prevented a single
crime from occurring; all it did was waste taxpayer money," said Keane.
"We welcome the opportunity to have the Ohio Supreme Court consider the merits of Cincinnati's case. We are confident the Supreme Court will agree with the trial and appellate court judges who dismissed the case," said Keane.