MO Supreme Court makes bad law

April 7, 2016 in News by RBN

via: WMSA

The Missouri Supreme Court made a law this week. A law that violates theProtection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act or at least winks at it.  In Odessa, a pawn shop sold a weapon to a woman. She passed NICS and as far as the dealer could tell, was legally allowed to buy a weapon. She took the weapon home and killer her father.

Two days prior to the sale, the woman’s mother called the shop and told an employee her daughter was mentally ill and dangerous. She asked the shop to not sell the woman a weapon. The employee said he could make no promises. He wasn’t the boss, and asked the mother to bring in some documentation proving her allegations. The mother did not do so and two days later the sale was made.

The Brady Campaign financed the mother’s suit and was instrumental in achieving the court decision. As a local attorney said, “It was bad law.” Why? Because anyone, for any reason, can make a call to a dealer stating that a prospective buyer is dangerous, mentally ill—without proof, just a verbal allegation—and order a gun dealer to not sell the person a  weapon or be sued for negligence.

Dealers are now between a rock and a hard place. How can they tell if such an allegation is true or not? NICS is the only tool they have. They depend on law enforcement to keep that federal database updated. If they do not, who is at fault?

The problem will this bad law is that it isn’t limited to gun dealers. A person, with a record of DUIs buy a car from a dealer, goes out and, while drunk, kills someone. That car dealer can now be sued for selling a car to a drunk. The fact that a car dealer has no means to verify accusations of DUI, is immaterial. The dealer now had foreknowledge—valid or not—and can be liable.