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SAF's Alan Gottlieb on MSNBC


SAF LAWSUIT HEADED TO APPEALS COURT

Tuesday, July 15th, 2003

“This judge set an impossible standard for our side to prevail and we intend to appeal this poor decision,” stated Gottlieb. “The mayors admit holding closed door meetings with lawyers to discuss bringing lawsuits against the gun makers, yet this judge wanted us to prove what happened in the private sessions without any discovery to uncover what actually happened. That is absurd, since the mayors remain silent.”

To help boost our arguments against the mayors, SAF is now asking Internet users to locate verifiable quotes from Mayors admitting the goal of the lawsuits is to create bankruptcy or financially harm gun manufacturers. Additional proof could turn this case around and prevent more mayors from temporarily escaping just punishment for their misdeeds.

E-MAIL YOUR QUOTES WITH VERIFICATION HERE!

Despite this temporary setback, the Mayor’s credibility was shaken just by the filing of our lawsuit. Not only did our efforts force the Clinton/Gore Administration to hold a bogus press conference to claim the currently empty threat of joining with the Mayor’s, but only Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia (now dismissed) have dared to file a similar lawsuit against gun makers since our lawsuit was announced. All other Mayor’s planned lawsuits appear to be on hold for now.

Furthermore, the anti-gun Mayor’s are losing in the courtrooms across America. The Bridgeport and Miami-Dade suits were dismissed. In a written opinion, Judge Robert McWeeny who dismissed the case, ruled that the city of Bridgeport, “lack(s) any statutory authorization to initiate such claims” of responsibility against the firearms industry. His dimissal was upheld by the CT Supreme Court. In Florida, Judge Dean ruled in the dismissal of the Miami-Dade action that the county “lacks standing”.. and that “Public Nuisance (criminal misuse of firearms) does not apply to the design, manufacture, and distribution of a lawful product.”

“As more and more of these city mayors’ suits are dismissed, the more it looks like these suits were only intended to financially injure gun owners and the federally licensed producers and sellers of firearms,” stated Gottlieb. “In addition, the USCM readily admits that they are seeking legislation in the courtrooms, which is a clear violation of the separation of powers upon which our great country was founded. This is cause to hold individual mayors and the USCM responsible for their conspiratorial and unconstitutional assaults on law-abiding people.”

All of these cases become legal precedent and provide further evidence against the Mayors’ meritless claims against a legal industry. Surprisingly, lawsuits in Atlanta, California, Boston, and Detroit have been allowed to proceed; as has the Cleveland suit which violates entirely all legal precedent but now has new life thanks to a politically charged Ohio Supreme Court decision.

More states are also intervening to stop the cities’ ridiculous legal shenanigans by passing legislation prohibiting such actions. To date, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia and have enacted these laws, while Missouri enacted a “loser pay” provision and Wyoming passed a strongly-worded resolution urging the State Attorney General to defend manufacturers against any lawsuits, thus bringing the total to 29 states against frivolous lawsuits! Several cities affected by these state prohibitions have promised to violate the state laws and continue their anti-gun efforts. This recklessness shows that gun grabbers have no respect for the law or legal authority.

The SAF lawsuit alleges three counts against the groups. Count 1 is for violation of lawful interstate commerce. The mayor’s legal challenges have already forced several gun makers to declare bankruptcy, severely downsize their product lines, and/or raise firearm prices, thus hurting consumers – including taxpayer-funded federal, state and local law enforcement agencies – all across the country. Count 2 is for violation of First Amendment rights. The mayor’s lawsuits have prevented the gun manufacturers from educating consumers about their products out of fear of seeing ads in the courtrooms, not to mention that many of the mayor’s lawsuits are trying to eliminate or severely curtail the ability of running ads on firearm products in general. Count 3 is for violation of the Second and Ninth Amendment rights. The Second Amendment is an individual right to keep and bear arms according to the recent decision in United States v. Emerson, 46 F.Supp.2d 598 (N.D. Tex. 1999). The mayor’s attempt to abridge the right to keep and bear arms by putting gun makers out of business causes a violation of the individual’s means to self-defense which is recognized in every courtroom and falls under the Ninth Amendment rights.

Attorney Richard Gardiner, a well-known Washington, D.C. firearms civil rights attorney, is the lead attorney working this case against the mayors. In addition to Cincinnati, Miami-Dade, Bridgeport, Chicago, the cities affected by the lawsuit are Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Newark, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Detroit, San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Oakland, East Palo Alto, Compton, West Hollywood, Inglewood, Camden, Wilmington, Gary, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

While the Mayors and other gun grabbers maintain publicly that these lawsuit are designed to either (1) force gun makers to create a safer product (i.e. trigger-locks, ‘smart-gun technology, etc.) or (2) seek compensation for the costs of ‘gun violence’, most rational people are rightfully skeptical and critical of these lawsuits. In fact, the Second Amendment Foundation has uncovered a great number of documents showing that their true intention is banning gun ownership by putting gun makers out of business through excessively burdensome legal defense costs.

“These unnecessary suits are being filed for two simple reasons – to win in the courts what has been rejected at the polls and to destroy gun makers, and by extension the ability of law-abiding gun owners to purchase new firearms,” stated Alan Gottlieb. “If there is nobody left to manufacture guns, then the right of gun ownership disappears.”

The chance for winning financial compensation has been greatly increased after the recent ruling in Dix v. Beretta U.S.A. corp. California Superior Court Judge Richard Hodge ordered plaintiffs to compensate Beretta for their costs of litigation in defending itself against a lawsuit filed with the assistance of Handgun Control, Inc. and the San Francisco law firm of Hersh & Hersh. This battle is not over as a new trial has been ordered. Furthermore, the underlying case of gun ownership as a civil right have been greatly increased because of the recent decision citing the Second Amendment as an individual right in U.S. v. Emerson.

“Unscrupulous lawyers have raised the costs of ladders, coffee, automobiles, and other consumer goods through similar nuisance lawsuits. We must defeat them and win damages, or gun owners might be forced to pay $6,000 for a $400 gun, or worse, there are no new guns for law-abiding Americans to purchase at all!”

Joining SAF in suing the mayors is the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which recently filed their own lawsuit on behalf of gun makers that could be hurt by the alleged conspiracy to provide S&W preference in police and other governmental contracts after S&W cut a deal with the Clinton/Gore Administration. The forced S&W deal with the devil could continue to unravel since many cities have not dropped S&W from their lawsuits, raising serious questions about any benefits to S&W for holding to a non-contract agreement. There are already “clarifications” made by S&W that don’t match the actual text of the agreement, and now that the Clinton/Gore/Reno Administration is gone, and S & W has been sold, expect even more changes.

See the NSSF news release by clicking on this sentence. Another suit is filed by several Texas lawmakers.

“The more pressure put on the anti-gunners, the better,” concluded Gottlieb. “With an unbiased judge, gun owners have a good chance to win against the gun-grabbing mayors.”