World Bulletin/News Desk
A Buffalo man who was shot nearly a decade ago can sue the manufacturer, the distributor and the dealer of the semi-automatic pistol used to shoot him, a New York state appeals court ruled on Friday.
Attorneys for Daniel Williams, who was shot in 2003 when he was in high school, argued that Ohio-based manufacturer Beemiller and the distributor, MKS Supply, violated federal law by knowingly supplying guns to irresponsible dealers.
The defendants said they cannot be sued because of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a 2005 law that shields firearm manufacturers and sellers from liability for harm caused by the criminal misuse of their non-defective products.
A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, on Friday reversed a 2011 ruling that threw out the case against the defendants - Beemiller, MKS Supply and gun dealer Charles Brown, who sold the guns to James Bostic, a Buffalo resident accused of running a trafficking scheme that funneled guns into the black market in New York.
The decision reinstates the case.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is representing Williams, claims Bostic is a convicted felon and is barred from purchasing guns, according to the ruling.
The center said Bostic traveled to Ohio, which does not require a license to buy a gun, to procure a large numbers of handguns, including the pistol used to shoot Williams, the ruling said.
"Although the complaint does not specify the statutes allegedly violated (by the defendants), it sufficiently alleges facts supporting a finding that defendants knowingly violated federal gun laws," Justice Erin Peradotto wrote for the court.
Jeffrey Malsch, a lawyer for MKS, said he is reviewing the decision.
"We believe (the lower court's ruling) was a courageous and legally correct decision, but the Fourth Department was unwilling to follow his well reasoned opinion," he said. "Whether we appeal or not, we are confident that ultimately the facts will contradict the baseless allegations in the complaint and the case will be dismissed."
Attorneys for Williams and the remaining defendants did not immediately return requests for comment.
'Just as we brought back Nadiya, we will bring back Donbas and Crimea under Ukraine's control,' Petro Poroshenko says
Germany and France have apparently teamed up to hold back NATO and EU ambitions in Libya
Israel frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns targeting ‘wanted’ Palestinians in West Bank and East Jerusalem
'Long awaited good news, that the EU celebrates together with her country,' foreign policy chief Mogherini says
German chancellor says 'maybe some issues will require more time,' but the EU 'will stick to the agreement'
Ukraine swaps two captured Russian soldiers for the jailed pilot Nadiya Savchenko
'The existence of this government brings a real threat of instability and extremism in the region,' a senior Palestinian official says
Several civilian deaths and shortage of medical supplies reported as army continues push to retake ISIL-occupied city
'A teacher has the right to demand a handshake,' Basel-Country ducation authorities rule
Kenyan forces have been operating under African Union Mission in Somalia since February 2012
The veteran leader Rachid Al-Ghannouchi says that Ennahda Party is 'evolving with Tunisia'
The meeting will mainly focus on South China Sea disputes and fight against terrorism
The loan aims to cover the cost of reforms intending to improve the business climate in the Balkan country, resume the privatisation and restructuring of public enterprises, and slow down a rise in public debt
Ahead of rumored ‘savage’ inquiry into his conduct, former British PM admits mistakes were made in Iraq war
The Democratic Party frontrunner maintains small margin in national poll
Eurozone finance ministers reached a vital deal with Greece after marathon talks to unlock 10.3 billion euros in bailout cash and start debt relief