If the City of Cincinnati says it is impossible to substantiate all of its wild allegations against the firearms industry before taking gun makers to court, it has no right to demand that the industry be held to the same standard, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) said today.
Cincinnati is suing the gun industry in hopes of recovering costs it claims to have suffered as the result of gun violence. SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb applauded industry attorneys for demanding that the city explain in detail just how their gun sales have led to an increase in gun crime.
“The City of Cincinnati roared into court in 1999 with rather remarkable allegations against the firearms industry,” Gottlieb recalled. “The city has discovered that this ‘guilty until proven innocent’ sword has a double edge, and it is only right that Cincinnati provide some substantiation to their claims before taking this costly lawsuit to trial.
“City attorneys have whined that the request is ‘overly burdensome, overly broad, vague and ambiguous,’ but one could easily say the same about the city’s demands for industry documents and records,” Gottlieb continued. “It seems neither unfair nor overly demanding that the city should be expected to provide documentation about negligent gun discharges, suicides, illegal gun trafficking, property value decreases and how it estimates the cost of gun crime.”
Gottlieb said the court, media and Cincinnati taxpayers who have been footing the bill for this legal action should all be suspicious of the city’s reluctance to provide documentation.
“If the city has nothing to hide,” Gottlieb said, “then it should be eager to substantiate its allegations. However, if the city has ‘nothing’ – no documentation, no data – then its reluctance to come forward would suggest that it is hiding something. What else would the city be hiding, other than the knowledge that it has no case?”