It is a tenet of English law that organizations, companies and people may bring lawsuits against other parties for harm, damages and punitive fines but beware – in the case of Great Britain – loser pays.
This is not the case in American courts. People with a little knowledge and few skills can sue anyone for anything – no lawyer needed.
Most people on the other hand rely on “slip and fall” contingency lawyers looking for a payday to file suit in cases of alleged neglect, perceived injustice, a “dangerous” product or nothing more than a push or a shove to extort a hefty settlement from a deep pocket someone who just wants to make the problem go away.
But not this time.
For decades, it has been a common tactic used by anti-gun groups and activists to take legal action against gun makers, distributors and retailers to run up their legal costs and, if possible, run them out of business.
This may have been the thinking behind a lawsuit that came in the wake of the 2012 mass shooting inside an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Following the shootings, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence – a gun control group – filed a lawsuit against the ammunition retailer used by the killer.
The Brady Center alleged that Lucky Gunner, an online ammunition dealer, was responsible for the murders because the way the company sold ammunition was “unreasonably dangerous and creates a public nuisance.”
Brady Center’s Legal Action Project Director Jonathan Lowy argued that:
“A crazed, homicidal killer should not be able to amass a military arsenal, without showing his face or answering a single question, with the simple click of a mouse.” “If businesses choose to sell military-grade equipment online, they must screen purchasers to prevent arming people like James Holmes (the killer in the case).”
Federal Judge Richard P. Matsch disagreed with Lowry’s reasoning and dismissed the lawsuit before not before going one-step further. Judge Matsch ordered the Brady Center to pay the legal fees incurred by the ammo dealer in defending against the lawsuit.
“It is apparent that this case was filed to pursue the political purposes of the Brady Center and, given the failure to present any cognizable legal claim, bringing these defendants into the Colorado court where the prosecution of James Holmes was proceeding appears to be more of an opportunity to propagandize the public and stigmatize the defendants than to obtain a court order,” said judge Matsch in his order.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Lucky Gunner was thrilled with the judge’s ruling and vowed to do everything within their power to actually recover the funds awarded them from the Brady Center. Lucky Gunner spokesman Anthony Welsch said:
“The federal judge on the case ruled it was apparent that this suit was filed to pursue the Brady Center’s ‘political purposes’ and was used as an ‘opportunity to propagandize the public,’”
“Lucky Gunner agrees with the court’s assessment and continues to do all it can to hold the Brady Center accountable for legal fees awarded in the case.”
To make the outcome of the case even better, Lucky Gunner promised to donate all of the money they get out of the anti-gun advocacy group to pro-gun rights groups.
This was a great victory for the Second Amendment, gun-owning Americans and the industry as a whole the Beacon reported. It sends direct tangible message to anti-gun groups that frivolous lawsuits may come with a cost by our nation’s courts.