BELLEVUE, WA – Georgia gun dealer Jay Wallace’s decision Monday to default on a lawsuit by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and carry his case to an appeals court, was the right move because of genuine concerns he could not get a fair trial before federal judge Jack B. Weinstein, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
SAF has been the largest single contributor to Wallace’s defense against the rogue lawsuit filed by Bloomberg, following the anti-gun mayor’s infamous vigilante sting operation in 2006. SAF founder Alan Gottlieb concurred with Wallace’s attorney, John Renzulli, that “There was no chance for a fair trial here.”
“There must be an appearance of fairness from the bench in any trial,” Gottlieb observed, “and that is unfortunately lacking in Jack Weinstein’s courtroom when there is a gun case being heard. He defied a 2005 federal statute barring junk lawsuits against gun makers and allowed such a lawsuit to move forward, only to have it tossed out last month by the 2nd US Court of Appeals in Manhattan.
“Even when Judge Weinstein ruled against the NAACP in its first lawsuit against gun makers,” Gottlieb recalled, “he made it clear that he believes there is a ‘nuisance created by (the gun industry) through the illegal availability of guns in New York.’ With a bias like that, Judge Weinstein should recuse himself from hearing cases related to the firearms industry, and hopefully, the appeals court will rule that Weinstein does not have jurisdiction over the city’s case against Wallace.”
Wallace’s default was pandered by Mayor Bloomberg as a victory for the city, but Gottlieb suggested that Bloomberg should hold his tongue.
“Mr. Wallace and his attorney didn’t throw in the towel,” Gottlieb stated, “they merely avoided being kangaroo-kicked in Judge Weinstein’s court. There is no indication this case is over, and based on New York’s track record in court against the gun industry, whatever feeling of victory Mayor Bloomberg and his cronies now enjoy is almost certain to be very short-lived.”