Search Results for ‘"brady campaign"’

“Brady Campaign To Honor Yee For Violence Prevention”

That was in happier days, when California State Sen. Leland Yee was winning national applause for his gun-control efforts. Yesterday the San Jose Mercury-News reported:

In a stunning criminal complaint, State Sen. Leland Yee has been charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the Bay Area. … Yee asked whether he wanted automatic weapons, and the agent confirmed he did — about $500,000 to $2.5 million worth.”

Is it time to retire our “Do as we say” tag yet? Eliot Spitzer got exposed after crusading for longer sentences for “johns.” Czars of alcohol-abuse programs keep getting nabbed on the road after having a half dozen too many. Rep. Bob Filner groped his way to the podium to chair hearings on women’s issues.

Now there’s this. Maybe Sen. Yee came down so hard on private gun dealers because he wanted to muscle into the business himself.

The entire criminal information, which beggars belief in its colorful detail (Chinese gangs, Russian arms runners, Muslim insurgents in the Philippines) is here, with highlights summarized by Scott Lucas of San Francisco magazine. The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized: “Few observers of San Francisco politics are surprised by [Yee’s] arrest on corruption charges.” Then there’s this sidelight: “Keith Jackson, accused by the FBI on Wednesday of being involved in a murder-for-hire scheme and a gun- and drug-trafficking conspiracy, was San Francisco’s top elected educator during the late 1990s.” [San Francisco Chronicle]

Best of Overlawyered — August 2017

Best of Overlawyered — March 2014

More from the archives:

August 21 roundup

  • “Brady Campaign loses lawsuit against Armslist (a gun classified ad site)” [Volokh]
  • Train for your bright future in federal employment as a FOIA Denial Officer [Katherine Mangu-Ward]
  • Chamber of Commerce alarmed at rise of class actions in Latin America [Kevin LaCroix/D & O Diary, Chamber report and Brazil sidebar]
  • Dear CBS Los Angeles: it’s okay to show a little skepticism regarding creationist’s claims in employment lawsuit [Skeptical Libertarian]
  • Historic role of guns in black civil rights struggle departs from polite conventional account [Charles E. Cobb, Jr., guestblogging on new book at Volokh: samples one, two, three, four]
  • Ranking law blogs based on their number of Feedly subscribers [Derek Muller; only a few single-author blogs score higher]
  • At the height of county fair season, it’s depressing to read about 4-H suits [Legal Geeks]

May 31 roundup

  • The American Illness: Essays on the Rule of Law, new book from Yale University Press edited by Frank Buckley, looks quite promising [Bainbridge]
  • So the New York Times gets spoon-fed “confidential” (and disappointingly tame) documents from the old Brady Campaign lawsuits against gunmakers, and then nothing happens;
  • IRS commissioner visited White House 118 times in 2010-11. Previous one visited once in four years. Hmmm… [John Steele Gordon, more] (But see reporting by Garance Franke-Ruta and commentary by Yuval Levin.) Did politics play role in 2011 Gibson Guitar raid? [IBD]
  • Supreme Court of Canada: “Judges may ‘cut and paste’ when writing their judgments” [Globe and Mail]
  • Lack of proper land title and registration holds Greece back [Alex Tabarrok]
  • I try not to clutter this blog with links to memoir-ish personal pieces of mine, but if you’re interested in adoption, or in how America manages to be at once the most conservative and the most socially innovative of great nations, go ahead and give this one a try [HuffPost]
  • Big Lodging and hotel unions don’t like competition: New York City’s war against AirBnB and Roomorama [John Stossel, Andrew Sullivan]

Krugman, Brady, and Stand Your Ground laws

I mostly ignore the frothings of Paul Krugman in the New York Times, but his column today pursues a logic that’s insane even for him: in an attack on the right-of-center American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), he proposes that Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws tie into a trend of “growing incarceration” intended to line the coffers of private prison contractors. Earth to Krugman: SYG laws bolster criminal defendants’ rights, and your colleagues at the Times have been complaining that as a result it’s too hard for prosecutors to send people to prison for long terms. Next time, could you stop and think before hitting the send button?

In the opinion piece I’m finishing up, I expect to argue that as more facts emerge about the Feb. 26 Martin/Zimmerman confrontation, the 2005 changes to Florida self-defense law known as Stand Your Ground are looking less and less likely to control the legal outcome of the case. Along those lines, I notice in Friday’s Washington Post what I read as a straw in the wind:

“We’ve never thought by itself that the law is the main issue,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “What we think is the main issue is the mentality that that law provides.”

Hmm. So despite hundreds of press assertions to the contrary in the past week, the actual content of the Florida law (as opposed to its supposed furtherance of a vague “mentality”) doesn’t turn out to be the main issue after all. Earlier here and here (& Reason).

Don’t miss related analysis from Eugene Volokh on the scope of the self-defense justification in American criminal law and the standards for probable cause in arresting someone who claims that justification. And Jennifer Rubin weighs in at Washington Post “Right Turn” (quoting me). More: Scott Greenfield, Steve Chapman.

Florida self-defense

” When Florida passed a law in 1987 making it easier for citizens to get licenses to carry concealed firearms, opponents predicted that blood would run in the streets. ‘When you have 10 times as many people carrying guns as you do now, and they get into an argument and tempers flash, you’re going to have people taking out guns and killing people,’ one gun-control activist said.” But instead, Florida’s murder rate has been cut in half since then. “The warnings of gun-control advocates about that law were way off the mark. So when you hear them warn that another law concerning firearms will lead to unnecessary bloodshed in Florida, skepticism is in order.” The “stand your ground” rule is old hat elsewhere around the country, but the Brady Campaign doesn’t go around trying to scare tourists away from the many other states where it’s the law. (Steve Chapman, “Expanding the right to self-defense”, Chicago Tribune, Oct. 16).

Victory in Illinois

In another spectacular rebuke for the proponents of gun-control-through-litigation, the Illinois Supreme Court has unanimously tossed out both Chicago’s lawsuit and a lawsuit by private parties seeking to hold gun companies liable for “negligent marketing” and alleging that sales of guns at suburban gun shops constitute a public nuisance along the lines of smoke or stray animals. (John O’Connor, “Chicago gun suits tossed”, AP/Chicago Tribune, Nov. 18). Chicago’s case had been thrown out by a trial court (see Sept. 20, 2000) and then reinstated by an appeals court before yesterday’s denouement. The Illinois Supreme Court is considered among the nation’s most unfriendly by business defendants, but Chicago’s theories were too extreme and too unrooted in precedent to pass muster even there. (City of Chicago v. Beretta; Young v. Bryco Arms). Smallest Minority has much more on the decisions (Nov. 18).

Most of the 30+ municipal gun suits have now been dismissed, but the burden of fighting the litigation has been a crushing one for many defendants, which are often small and family-owned. Their tormentors in the Brady Campaign and other anti-gun groups — funded by George Soros as well as deep-pocketed foundations — show no signs of relenting in their strategy of filing an unending series of flimsy suits in an attempt to achieve through lawyering what voters have denied them at the ballot box. Federal pre-emption, as discussed yesterday, is thus more needed than ever; and it would also help if courts began considering the issuance of sanctions against the groups that file such meritless suits. Update Nov. 22: Steve Chapman comments.

Bushmaster settles D.C. sniper case

Bushmaster Firearms Inc. of Windham, Maine, has agreed to pay $550,000 and Bull’s Eye Shooter Supply of Tacoma, Wash. has agreed to pay $2 million to settle families’ lawsuits over the 2002 D.C. sniper shootings (see Jul. 1, 2003). Dennis Henigan of the gun-control-through-litigation Brady Campaign was the lawyer representing the families. “Authorities believe that Malvo shoplifted the rifle from Bull’s Eye, where he and Muhammad had been seen checking out the Bushmaster that later disappeared.” The Bradyites’ theory was that the killings were the gun store’s fault because it lost too many guns, and the manufacturer’s fault because it did not cut off the gun store for losing too many guns. Henigan crowed that the settlement represented the first-ever payment by a manufacturer over charges of negligent distribution and the biggest-ever payment by a distributor. (Tom Jackman, “Gunmaker, Store Agree To Payout in Sniper Case”, Washington Post, Sept. 10). I’m quoted in a subscriber-only BestWire article discussing the implications of the settlement (“Bushmaster Settlement Raises New Liability Questions for Gun Makers”, BestWire, Sept. 13)($). Jeff Soyer also comments (Sept. 10).

Both companies’ contribution to the settlement will apparently come from liability insurance proceeds. Reports the Portland, Me. paper (David Hench, “Gun firm settles in sniper lawsuit”, Portland Press Herald, Sept. 10):

In explaining its decision to settle, Bushmaster said half of its policy limits had already been spent on defending the legal case, and the insurance company believed defending the case would exhaust the money available for coverage.

“The balance of the insurance policy not spent on legal fees, approximately $550,000, will go to the victims’ families for their grief,” said the company’s chairman, Richard E. Dyke.

“Bushmaster strongly believes and vigorously supports the rights of citizens to own and use firearms, and the settlement of this case in no way compromises that stand,” the company said in its release. “The Brady Group’s . . . attempt to eliminate gun rights of citizens has failed legislatively and will continue to fail with these frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers.”

But with the decision costing the company’s insurer $1 million, insurers could pressure Bushmaster and other gun manufacturers to make changes.

The legal assault on the firearms industry is richly funded by George Soros, among others; if you’d like to make a contribution to combat such suits there are several legal defense funds working on behalf of companies that get sued, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation‘s Hunting and Shooting Sports Heritage Fund, which allows you to earmark your contribution specifically for legal defense.