Sniper victims sue gun dealer

Feb. 14, 2003, midnight | By Josh Gottlieb-Miller, Laura Blythe-Goodman | 20 years, 9 months ago

Family members of two victims of last October's sniper attacks are suing the gun maker and gun dealer responsible for the sniper's believed possession of a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle, according to the Montgomery Voice.

The suit charged negligence and was filed in Washington State, implicating Bushmaster Firearms, Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad.

Denise Johnson, the wife of sniper victim Conrad Johnson, cites her family's emotional loss as a reason for the suit. "My children have lost the chance to grow up with their father. I have lost my best friend," said Johnson in the Voice article.

According to the Voice, Johnson believes the fault of the gun makers and dealers was their lack of "due diligence" in the gun sale.

Bushmaster's vice-president of administration, Allen Faraday, disputed their culpability. "We sold the rifle legally to a firearms dealer licensed by the federal government, and then it was stolen," Faraday said.

"Well-financed anti-gun groups…take advantage of a heinous crime like this to push their agenda."

Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association President Larry Moreland also discredits the lawsuit on the grounds that gun makers are not to be held responsible for crimes committed with their products. "It's just another frivolous lawsuit that's going to get thrown out. How can you blame a manufacturer for the product he makes?"

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Josh Gottlieb-Miller. More »

Laura Blythe-Goodman. Laura is a senior this year. In her spare time, she learns how to play the guitar and talks to Emma. More »

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