Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Badger Guns lawsuit, part II

My previous look at the current lawsuit against Badger Guns of the greater Milwaukee Metro area, outlined a brief history of some of the vilification that has been waged against the gun store.

I've said since day one that if they are actually guilty of something other than following the rules, the ATF would have been all over them.

Today I'll begin my examination of the lawsuit itself. Please understand, I'm not an attorney and offer no legal expertise except that from a common cynical perspective.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examined the lawsuit and graciously pointed out that it ain't gonna fly:
A lawsuit against Badger Guns filed Thursday by Milwaukee police officers wounded with guns from the store will face several high hurdles, the first if it is allowable under federal law, legal experts said.
Something about that lawful firearm commerce act or some such thing. As long as a dealer follows the law, they can't be held liable for criminal activity based on a purchase.

Seems straightforward to me. Except this is economic warfare we are dealing with.

As I pointed out before, the local politicians, police chief, and a congress critter, have all wanted the owner's head. All because of this:
It argues that the store employees knew or should have known that Jose M. Fernandez was a daily drug user and could not legally buy the guns. It said another red flag was that Fernandez bought the guns six days apart, avoiding a federal reporting requirement. It also alleges that Badger Guns is a public nuisance and seeks action to change that.
The first part, known or should have known: My local gun dealer would reasonably know or should know that I am a daily user of di-hydro oxide. Why? When I walk into his store, I'm fairly well kept and wear unstained clothing. Would he know or should know that I may be a daily user of a chemical substance (C12H22O11) outside of any obvious withdrawals (sugar high), I wouldn't think so.

If someone checks the No box on a 4473 form to the question asking if they use illegal pharmaceuticals, how the hell is a gun dealer supposed to know one way or the other? Is there a followup question asking who their dealer is? Make people give a urine sample as a way to prove ourselves worthy?

Next, the six days apart scenario: I've purchased a firearm from a dealer, then later I returned on the same day and purchased a second one because the price was right.

By that logic, I'm an evil straw purchaser. Just because I bought more than one gun in a arbitrary time frame.

Lastly, Badger Guns is a nuisance: A legal business, selling a legal (and highly regulated) product is a nuisance, just for existing. This article doesn't pursue that angle, but I suspect that the nuisance they are talking about is the firearm itself.

Gunning officers down with illegally obtained firearms should bring full judgment and retribution against the perpetrator who pulled the trigger. On that, I think we can all agree.

Until evidence is shown (beyond a reasonable doubt, not some civil court's "preponderance of evidence" rules) I think this has been an effort to drive gun dealers out of business. If that happens, all we will have left is the overpriced Gander Mountains. If that.

This is a drive against private sales as well. How could an individual defend themselves if they sold a firearm that ended up being used in a murder?

I really doubt that anyone from Badger Guns willingly and knowingly would sell to someone if they had a reasonable suspicion it would end up in the wrong hands. And at the same time, say "no sale" if/when the person passes the NICS check. There'd be a civil rights lawsuit there.

If Badger's if found guilty in a criminal court, they deserve what they get.

In civil court, it looks like an effort to use them as an example to the rest of us.

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