SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION CONDEMNS JERSEY CITY MAYOR’S WASTEFUL GUN LAWSUIT

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2002

BELLEVUE, WA. – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today condemned a lawsuit against the firearms industry by Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham of Jersey City as “a wasteful use of public money in an effort more designed to promote headlines than public safety.”

“Mayor Cunningham must not read newspapers, or else he would know that such lawsuits have repeatedly failed across the country,” said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “He is using the same tired arguments that have been previously rejected by courts in several states, including Louisiana, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio and Indiana.”

Gottlieb said serious questions and suspicions must certainly arise from Mayor Cunningham’s decision. He noted that there had been good faith efforts by industry representatives to show Cunningham the various safety initiatives undertaken voluntarily by gun makers, and efforts to work with law enforcement.

“Despite industry efforts and all the court precedents in this arena,” Gottlieb observed, “Mayor Cunningham decided to sue anyway. This lawsuit could not possibly be motivated by any concern for the public good. The only motive here appears to be an attempt to grab a headline, nothing more. Unfortunately for the citizens of Jersey City, this will not be a ‘cheap’ headline. It is going to get very expensive.”

Recalling that SAF in 1999 filed what amounted to a counter-lawsuit against litigious anti-gun mayors in some 30 cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Gottlieb noted that the SAF action led to an important revelation for taxpayers.

“These municipal lawsuits,” Gottlieb said, “cost cities hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in the end, the cities had literally nothing to show for their efforts other than big legal bills. Taxpayers deserve far more from their elected officials. At a time when municipal budgets are strapped, this lawsuit indicates a questionable set of priorities in Mayor Cunningham’s office, and Jersey City residents should keep that in mind at election time.

“People will recall,” Gottlieb continued, “that New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, who filed the first of these insidious legal actions against the gun industry, was flatly rebuffed by voters when he tried to circumvent the law and run for a third term as mayor. Citizens there decided that Morial’s personal ego strokes were just too expensive, and legally embarrassing, for their city. Perhaps Mayor Cunningham should take a lesson from that.”