March 29, 2021
NSSF Condemns City of Gary, Ind., Scapegoating of Public Safety; Calls Upon Indiana to End Legal Abuse
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the firearm industry trade association, strongly criticized the City of Gary, Ind., effort to revive its lawsuit against firearm manufacturers that seeks to hold members of the firearm industry legally responsible for the harm caused to the city by the actions of criminals who misuse firearms.
“The decision by elected officials in the City of Gary to try to breathe life back into this junk lawsuit after failing for two decades to litigate its case is unfathomable,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF® Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The city has ignored the basic tenets of enforcing law and holding criminals accountable for their misdeeds. Instead, they’ve chosen to squander citizen tax dollars to pursue baseless claims that have been repeatedly thrown out of court in similar cases when municipalities attempted lawsuit abuse tactics. The firearm industry has been proactive and responsible in preventing the criminal and negligent misuse of firearms. The same cannot be said of the City of Gary.”
The City of Gary, Ind., first filed their claims in 1999, after 40 big city mayors conspired through the U.S. Conference of Mayors with gun control activist lawyers for claims of public nuisance and other crime-related injuries. New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, then serving as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, organized dozens of local housing authorities to bring lawsuits against gunmakers and threatened the industry with “death by a thousand cuts.”
Cases were dismissed, including those brought by the cities of New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston.
The claims brought by the City of Gary have been dismissed three times, only to be revived. The State of Indiana, in 2001, passed a statute to stop such frivolous lawsuits. From 2009-2015, the City did nothing to pursue its claims in court. In 2015, Indiana extended its law to apply retroactively to Aug. 26, 1999, days before the City of Gary filed its claims.
“On behalf of the entire firearm industry, NSSF calls upon the State of Indiana to immediately take the lawful steps necessary to end this lawsuit abuse by the City of Gary,” said Keane. The future of the Second Amendment is at stake in the Hoosier State.
Procedural twists allowed the cases to be revived. NSSF denies that firearm manufacturers bear responsibility for the illegal actions committed by criminals through the unlawful use of a lawfully manufactured, lawfully sold product that is regulated by a verification through the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The firearm industry has long-standing partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement to realize Real Solutions® for Safer Communities.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.
203-426-1320 ext. 212