Area Lawsuit Targets Gun Shop

Area Lawsuit Targets Gun Shop

Posted in the Independence Forum

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#1 Jan 31, 2013
Kan. Supreme Court hears gun liability case

http://www.koamtv.com/story/20829773/kan-supr...

"TOPEKA, Kan.(AP)- The state Supreme hears arguments on whether a southeast Kansas gun shop may be held liable for selling a firearm that was later used by a convicted felon to kill his son.

The question before the justices Wednesday was whether to reinstate a negligence case filed against Baxter Springs Gun and Pawn Shop.

The case involves the 2003 murder-suicide of Russell Graham of Baxter Springs, a convicted felon who used a shotgun bought by his grandmother to shoot himself and his son. Graham was initially denied the sale of the gun by the shop owners.

Elizabeth Shirley, wife of Russell Graham, filed the liability lawsuit against the gun shop owners. A lower court dismissed the case, but the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed that decision in 2010, ordering a trial."

Since: Oct 10

Independence, Kansas

#2 Jan 31, 2013
It sounds to me like the gun shop was being responsible by refusing the sale of a gun to the convicted felon. If anyone should be liable for the deaths, the wicked grandmother sure stands out in my mind. She enabled her son to have a weapon that he could not purchase legally.

Of course this is a civil case where the target of the action is the person with the deep pocket, the gun shop. The perp in this case is the lawyer that takes the case on a 40% contingency fee by talking the aggrieved party into filing the suit which costs the widow nothing to file.

Should a car dealer be made to pay damages when a car is used to run over a person intentionally?

A shotgun has legitimate uses just like a car and a gun dealer that has done a backgound check on a potential customer has fullfilled the legal requirements set down by current law if the background check comes back as clear. How is the shop owner to know that the grandmother would turn the shotgun over to her son? Perhaps car dealers should start doing background checks on customers...especially on customers that want particular types of cars that reseach has indicated will be more likely to be used in vehicular homicide crimes...

A jury that would award damages in this case would need to stretch the logic; but stranger things have happened in civil cases.

Nothing surprises me anymore...
fritz

Wichita, KS

#3 Jan 31, 2013
Katniss258 wrote:
Kan. Supreme Court hears gun liability case
http://www.koamtv.com/story/20829773/kan-supr...
"TOPEKA, Kan.(AP)- The state Supreme hears arguments on whether a southeast Kansas gun shop may be held liable for selling a firearm that was later used by a convicted felon to kill his son.
The question before the justices Wednesday was whether to reinstate a negligence case filed against Baxter Springs Gun and Pawn Shop.
The case involves the 2003 murder-suicide of Russell Graham of Baxter Springs, a convicted felon who used a shotgun bought by his grandmother to shoot himself and his son. Graham was initially denied the sale of the gun by the shop owners.
Elizabeth Shirley, wife of Russell Graham, filed the liability lawsuit against the gun shop owners. A lower court dismissed the case, but the Kansas Court of Appeals reversed that decision in 2010, ordering a trial."
When will this ever end?

Since: Oct 10

Independence, Kansas

#4 Jan 31, 2013
fritz wrote:
<quoted text>
When will this ever end?
When will what ever end?

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#5 Jan 31, 2013
Indy_Dick wrote:
It sounds to me like the gun shop was being responsible by refusing the sale of a gun to the convicted felon. If anyone should be liable for the deaths, the wicked grandmother sure stands out in my mind. She enabled her son to have a weapon that he could not purchase legally.
Of course this is a civil case where the target of the action is the person with the deep pocket, the gun shop. The perp in this case is the lawyer that takes the case on a 40% contingency fee by talking the aggrieved party into filing the suit which costs the widow nothing to file.
Should a car dealer be made to pay damages when a car is used to run over a person intentionally?
A shotgun has legitimate uses just like a car and a gun dealer that has done a backgound check on a potential customer has fullfilled the legal requirements set down by current law if the background check comes back as clear. How is the shop owner to know that the grandmother would turn the shotgun over to her son? Perhaps car dealers should start doing background checks on customers...especially on customers that want particular types of cars that reseach has indicated will be more likely to be used in vehicular homicide crimes...
A jury that would award damages in this case would need to stretch the logic; but stranger things have happened in civil cases.
Nothing surprises me anymore...
Agreed. Surprising that it was overturned. I understand the guy was a nutcase, but as far as I've heard, the grandmother had no mental or criminal record. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

I have some friends in the fireworks business. They regularly get sued. Some they win, some they lose. It seems they are, to some extent, responsible for some accidents involving their fireworks. Just sayin'.
fritz

Wichita, KS

#6 Jan 31, 2013
Indy_Dick wrote:
<quoted text>When will what ever end?
lawsuits over nothing
anti-gun

Coffeyville, KS

#7 Jan 31, 2013
Gun shop made an illegal sale and tampered with evidence. Grandma was just plain stupid knowing the shooter's history of domestic violence.

My judgment: Gun shop should be fined and forced out of business. Grandma should do 6 months hard labor in a camp for dumb rednecks.

Some more background info from The Brady Center:

Elizabeth Shirley, whose 8-year old son was killed with a gun allegedly sold in an illegal straw purchase by a Kansas gun dealer. After winning a precedent-setting decision in the Kansas Court of Appeals, the case is now before the Supreme Court of Kansas. On the night of September 5, 2003, Russell Graham killed his 8-year-old son, Zeus, and then himself with a shotgun purchased for him that afternoon by a straw purchaser from Joe and Patsy George at Baxter Springs Gun & Pawn Shop.

Russell Graham was a prohibited purchaser due to a prior felony conviction for rape and attempted kidnapping and a domestic violence restraining order. On the morning of September 5, 2003, Russell Graham called Baxter Springs Gun & Pawn Shop to ask about shotguns. Later that day he was driven to the pawn shop by his grandmother, Imogene Glass. At the pawn shop, Graham and Glass were helped by owners Joe George and Patsy George. Graham asked to see the shotgun he was told about over the telephone and after examining it, he selected the shotgun for purchase. According to Glass, Graham told the Georges that he was a felon so Glass filled out the 4473. Glass, however, did not answer all of the questions on the form, including the question asking if she was the actual buyer or if she was buying the gun for someone else; the Georges filled out that section. Graham then paid for the shotgun in cash and left the store carrying it, along with ammunition he also bought.

At approximately 11:50 pm the night of the sale, Russell Graham called his estranged wife, and the mother of Zeus, Elizabeth Shirley, and told her that he could not get a shotgun on his own because of his felony conviction and restraining order, but that he purchased a shotgun that day with Glass’s help. Graham told Shirley to come over or else Graham would kill Zeus; Graham stated that he was going to kill himself that night regardless.(On previous occasions Graham had beaten up Shirley after luring her January 2012 13 home.) Shirley called for help, then called Graham back, but got his answering machine. By that time Graham had killed Zeus and himself with the gun sold by the Georges. The next day, law enforcement began to question the Georges. During subsequent meetings with ATF, the Georges claimed that Glass paid for the shotgun with a check. When ATF and the Georges discovered no check at the bank, Patsy George claimed to remember that Glass, not Graham, paid by cash.

Further, the pawn shop videotapes all transactions, but when law enforcement inquired about the tape of the Graham/Glass sale, the Georges claimed that the day after the sale they discovered that the VCR was malfunctioning and the tape was destroyed. The Georges threw away the tape before it could be examined by law enforcement. Elizabeth Shirley brought suit against Joe and Patsy George, Baxter Gun & Pawn, and Imogene Glass, claiming that they are liable for the shooting that foreseeably resulted from supplying Graham with a gun, under negligence, negligent entrustment, negligence per se, and conspiracy.

Since: Oct 10

Independence, Kansas

#8 Jan 31, 2013
...and now you know the rest of the story.

If, indeed, the gun shop owners knew it was a straw sale then they are a party to circumventing laws that prohibit sales of guns to felons. If found culpable, they should at least pay damages in a civil trial and if the Federal government hasn't already filed criminal charges, they should. If found guilty, then a heavy fine and permanent forfeiture of their Federal gun dealers license should be mandated by the court.

If one makes the assumption that the gun dealer didn't know anything about a straw sale, then I don't see where the gun shop owner did anything wrong. However, from the contents of the previous post, it doesn't look good for the Georges.

Honesty is always the best policy, and had they refused the sale, then the father would have had to look elsewhere for the tools to do harm to his son and himself. Perhaps another gun from another source. My question is why wasn't he evaluated mentally after beating his wife up in earlier incidents?

It doesn't really matter, because if we have gun shop owners assisting in the circumvention of gun laws then all the evaluations and prior felony conviction histories on file won't stop a determined murderer or potential suicide.

anti-gun: thank you for filling in the details.

However, I still believe that people kill people.

Enforcement of existing laws might help, but a determined person will not be deterred by any kind of penalty.

On the date in question, several million gun owners didn't break any laws while possessing guns...myself included.
responding

Decatur, GA

#9 Jan 31, 2013
"I have some friends in the fireworks business. They regularly get sued. Some they win, some they lose. It seems they are, to some extent, responsible for some accidents involving their fireworks. Just sayin'."

Katniss, when are people ever going to take responsibility for their own actions. Fireworks are dangerous, period. If you don't want to accept the fact that you may get hurt shooting them off, then don't do it. We always want to blame someone else for what happens.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#10 Jan 31, 2013
Thanks for the info, Anti-gun. Interesting, and tragic.
Whatta

Ingleside, TX

#11 Jan 31, 2013
The truth is a court dismissed the case for a reason, and the appeals court granted the appeal for a reason.

I think I'll wait for the evidence to come out in court rather than make a judgement without any evidence.

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