MILWAUKEE (AP) — A second lawsuit is starting this week for trial against a gun shop after a jury in October found the owners of the store were negligent in selling a gun used to injure two Milwaukee police officers.
The new case involves two different injured officers who allege that owners of Badger Guns negligently sold the gun used to wound them in 2007. The trial is starting with jury selection on Monday and is scheduled to last up to three weeks.
In October, jurors awarded two officers in a separate case, Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch, nearly $6 million. The jury found that Badger Guns and its owner violated federal laws and sold the gun used to injure the officers to a straw buyer — someone buying a gun for someone who cannot legally purchase one.
The issue gained national attention when presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would push to repeal a George W. Bush-era gun law that Badger Guns’ attorneys say protected the store. Attorneys for the owner and operators of the shop said they can’t be held liable for wrongdoing committed with a weapon they sold.
The two officers later settled the case for $1 million and avoided what was expected to be an appeal that lasted years.
The new lawsuit is brought by Officer Jose Lopez and former officer Alejandro Arce. Kunisch, Norberg, Arce and Lopez are among six police officers wounded over a 20-month period with guns sold by Badger Guns or its predecessor, Badger Outdoors, the Journal Sentinel reported. The other two officers did not sue.
Badger has disputed the claims by the officers in the new lawsuit.
Lopez and Arce were shot by a 15-year-old in November 2007. The teenager was using a gun purchased and provided to him by a 24-year-old. That gun as well as one other were purchased by the 24-year-old just weeks earlier.
He had been convicted of drug possession. Selling a gun to a drug user is against the law. The complaint alleges that Badger Gun employees should have known that, and that the sales just days apart should have been a red flag that it was a straw purchase.