Indiana justices OK city's lawsuit against gun makers

Chris Rizo Jan. 13, 2009, 1:10am

INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline)-The Indiana Supreme Court has given the go-ahead for the city of Gary's decade-old lawsuit against gun manufacturers to move forward.

The state's high court, in giving the case a green light, rejected claims by gun makers that federal law shields them from liability for irresponsible sales practices that may put guns in the hands of criminals.

A state Court of Appeals held in October 2007 that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, passed by Congress in 2005, does not protect gun manufacturers from liability for sales practices that knowingly violate the state's laws.

The 3-0 appeals court ruling found that gun makers have no immunity in the case because the gun makers violated laws on the sale and marketing of firearms.

The city of Gary's lawsuit, filed in 1999, alleges that 16 gun makers and six in-state gun dealers sold firearms they knew would go to criminals.

The Washington-based Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence represents the city of Gary in the case.

"The Indiana Supreme Court's ruling is an important victory for the people of Gary and particularly those who have suffered from the gun industry's supply of guns to criminals and gun traffickers," said Brady Center President Paul Helmke, the former mayor of Fort Wayne, Ind.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at

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