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January 13, 2012

Brady Center Runs Out of Time; Suffers Stinging Defeat in Lawsuit Against a Firearms Retailer

A Connecticut Appellate Court recently issued an order dismissing an appeal in Gilland v. Sportsmen’s Outpost, Inc. – a Superior Court decision granting a firearm retailer’s motion to dismiss all claims against it pursuant to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”). The PLCAA was passed in 2005 with broad bipartisan support. The purpose of the act is to prevent firearms manufacturers and retailers from being held liable for crimes committed with their products. In this case, the plaintiffs, who were represented by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, sought to hold the firearms retailer liable in a wrongful death and negligence claim because a firearm had been stolen from his store.

In 2010, after the plaintiffs had already amended their pleadings twice, the White Plains NY-based Renzulli Law Firm, representing the retailer, filed another motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint on PLCAA grounds. In response, the Brady Center led an aggressive attack on the defendants, as well as the PLCAA, including a challenge to its constitutionality. On May 26, 2011, however, Judge Robert B. Shapiro granted the motion to dismiss, upheld the constitutionality of the PLCAA and rejected the Brady Center’s other challenges.

After the Superior Court granted the motion to dismiss, the plaintiffs continued their attack against the PLCAA by renewing their motion to file a third amended complaint and separate motion to reargue the order dismissing their case. Unfortunately for the Brady Campaign, their attorneys filed their paperwork four minutes after the filing deadline. The Superior Court subsequently denied the motion to reargue as untimely and denied their motion to amend — in part because the plaintiffs had already been granted several opportunities to establish that their claims were not barred by the PLCAA and failed to do so each time.

The court then granted a motion by the defendants to dismiss the appeal, and an Appellate Court denied another motion by the plaintiffs for reconsideration.

Congratulations to the Renzulli Law Firm. This is a stinging defeat for the Brady Center — adding to their growing list of defeats in their ongoing effort to sue members of the firearms industry and their desperate and futile attempt to find a court to rule the PLCAA unconstitutional. It’s “time” for the Brady Center to stop filing frivolous lawsuits against members of the firearms industry.

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