A federal court jury advisory verdict that gun makers and distributors are not responsible for gun violence in the minority community was proper, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) said today.
“Now,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb, “U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein, who had placed the jury in an advisory role, needs to heed their advice and rule in favor of all the defendants in this frivolous lawsuit.”
While the jury cleared 45 firearms manufacturers and distributors, the panel could not reach a verdict relating to 23 other defendants, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit was filed by the NAACP against 68 defendants, claiming that the industry knew corrupt dealers were supplying guns to criminals in minority communities, and took no steps to stop them. Judge Weinstein will allow NAACP and industry attorneys to submit written arguments interpreting the verdict. Gottlieb said there should be no reason for Weinstein to labor over a final ruling.
“The jury heard more than five weeks of testimony, and deliberated for five days. Their decision should be a signal to Judge Weinstein to exonerate the industry,” Gottlieb stated. “Among the more ludicrous goals of the NAACP lawsuit was to impose a limit of one handgun per month on sales to individuals. The problem with this is that evidence revealed a large number of crime guns seized in New York, where the trial occurred, came from Virginia, a state that has imposed a one-gun-a-month restriction for several years.
“In the final analysis,” Gottlieb added, “even the NAACP’s so-called ‘star’ witness, attorney Robert Ricker, apparently couldn’t convince the jury. This case, if nothing else, further discredits Ricker as an industry ‘whistle-blower’ and places in further doubt all the other pending anti-gun lawsuits around the country, and for good reason. The charges and evidence aren’t credible.
“Judge Weinstein can now exercise some much-needed judicial wisdom and bring this travesty to a conclusion,” Gottlieb stated.