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February 16, 2024

City of Gary Has Had 25 Years of Discovery. Abuse of the Legal System Must End.

By James Bopp Jr.

There’s a game people play called “Two Lies and a Truth.” Lawyers backing the City of Gary, Ind., play that game in the media too.

The City of Gary is dragging out a 1999 lawsuit brought against several firearm manufacturers. City officials allege that firearm manufacturers are responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms by individuals unrelated to these manufacturers. This is the only remaining case from a series of similar cases filed in the late 1990s and early 2000s by municipalities, including Gary. That led to Congress passing in an overwhelming bipartisan fashion, and President George W. Bush signing, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) in 2005.

Still, Gary and its lawyers from the gun control group Brady United have drawn this case out for nearly a quarter century.

Two Lies

Here are the two lies Gary officials peddle. First, they insist their lawsuit is not frivolous. This case meets that definition by every standard. Alleging that firearm manufacturers are responsible for the criminal actions of remote third parties is akin to saying Ford and Anheuser-Busch are responsible for drunk driving fatalities.

Basic tort law underscores those responsible for causing harm are also those responsible for the damages they cause. If Indiana courts had correctly applied the law in 2005, this case would have been dismissed like so many other false public nuisance claims that led to the PLCAA.

The other lie is that firearm manufacturers are ducking discovery by Gary’s gun control lawyers. This is false. The City of Gary has had 24 years to conduct discovery. And their lawyers have been given access to hundreds of thousands of records as well as to the testimony of countless industry executives they deposed under oath in other municipal firearm cases in which Brady United was involved. Indiana Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia recently ordered firearm retailers to turn over firearm transaction records, called a Form 4473, and Acquisition and Disposition records, exposing the transactions and identities of hundreds of thousands of lawful gun owners to Gary’s gun control lawyers.


Here’s the truth. The City of Gary and Brady United have been on a 24-year legal drift net fishing expedition. But these waters have already been fished by Brady United with nothing to show for it – because the allegations are – and always were – false. In fact, after full discovery, several of Brady United’s former municipal clients, like Boston and Cincinnati, simply dropped their cases, while others had their cases dismissed, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Miami.

Recently, the Lake County Superior Court granted Sturm, Ruger and Co.’s motion to compel and ordered the City of Gary “to serve complete and non-evasive responses to Ruger’s discovery requests.” Specifically, Ruger wants answers to the City’s claims it was harmed by advertising of lawful handgun ownership for personal protection. So far, the City has yet to produce any answers as to who was harmed, when they were harmed, how they were harmed and the nature of any claimed loss by the City. The other companies in the case have asked the same question.

Disgraced former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when serving as President Bill Clinton’s Housing and Urban Development Secretary, said the point of these public nuisance lawsuits was not legal victory, but rather to bleed the industry through “death by a thousand cuts.” The same tactic is being used in Indiana.

Indiana State Rep. Chris Jeter’s House Bill 1235 intends to put an end to this judicial charade and this unethical abuse of the courts to advance a gun control agenda.

James Bopp Jr. is an experienced Constitutional Law attorney specializing in First and Second Amendment rights and with the Bopp Law Firm.

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