Monday, June 29, 2015

There Goes the Brady Center

A while back, the Brady Center filed suit against Lucky Gunner and everyone else who had sold anything to the theater shooter in Aurora, but because the suit violated both federal and state Colorado law (you can't sue if the gun or ammo works as advertised, short of negligence) the judge ordered the plaintiffs, the parents of a murder victim, to pay defendant's legal fees.  The question is who would get stuck with the huge bill?  The parents or the Brady Center?  
A federal judge has ordered that the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence pay the legal fees of an online ammunition dealer it sued for the Aurora movie theater shooting.

The order, which was issued last week, comes after Judge Richard P. Matsch dismissed the gun control group's suit that sought to hold Lucky Gunner legally responsible for the 2012 shooting. The Brady Center had argued in their suit that the way Lucky Gunner sells ammunition is "unreasonably dangerous and create a public nuisance."

"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," Brady Center's Legal Action Project Director Jonathan Lowy said at the time. "If businesses choose to sell military-grade equipment online, they must screen purchasers to prevent arming people like James Holmes."

Judge Matsch disagreed with the Brady Center's argument. He said the suit was filed for propaganda purposes. "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," he said in his order.


  1. I'm willing to bet that the Brady Center never pays a cent. Either they appeal, just don't bother to pay and the courts don't follow up (I've seen that happen a few times in this area), or the Brady Center folds/goes bankrupt and just reforms under a different name.

  2. Per this account by lawyer David Hardy prior to the release of the detailed order, and my reading of it just now, it's the individual plaintiffs who are on the hook for the judgement, not the Brady unit (that now employees them), but either will hurt it:

    If Brady pays it (they're the attorneys, and the award is assessed against their client, not themselves) that'd be about 10% of their assets, or 5% of their budget. If they don't ... they're gonna have some serious problems finding clients for future cases.