Survivors of Sutherland Springs Shooting Sue Academy Sports + Outdoor

Sutherland Springs Survivors Sue Academy Sports

courtesy Dallas News and Austin American-Statesman

Here we go again. Another lawsuit against a retailer who sold a legal product that was later used in the commission of a crime. As you may know, firearms manufacturers and retailers are shielded from these suits by the PLCAA, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Now, two survivors of the Sutherland Springs church shooting have sued Academy Sports + Outdoor for selling the shooter 30-round magazines.

On Friday, Rosanne Solis and Joaquin Ramirez sued Academy Sports + Outdoors for selling Devin Patrick Kelley a Ruger AR-556 with 30 round capacity magazines. While this model is legal in Texas, Kelley was a resident of Colorado, where it’s illegal to sell, possess or manufacture magazines with capacities over 15 rounds.

“A Texas gun dealer [Academy] cannot sell a firearm and deliver that firearm to a citizen of another State if that sale would not be legal in the purchaser’s State of residence,” the lawsuit reads. “The Ruger should have never been placed in Kelley’s hands.”

We’re not attorneys and have no interest in impersonating one, but the argument here seems strained at best. Colorado has no “assault weapons” ban. They do, however, have a magazine capacity limit law. The sale of standard-capacity 30-round magazines was outlawed in 2013 following the Aurora theater shooting.

The Ruger AR-556 the shooter bought in Texas wasn’t illegal in Colorado. Claiming that because the rifle Kelley bought in Texas came with a 30-round magazine made it an illegal sale because he couldn’t own a 30-round magazine in Colorado is certainly a novel argument. If it’s successful, it would prompt retailers to ask for ID from everyone who purchases “high capacity” magazines and to know the laws of every state and city in the country.

Perhaps Solis and Ramirez should be directing their complaint against the federal government.

Kelley, who killed himself as he was fleeing police, was an Air Force veteran who was convicted of domestic abuse and discharged for bad conduct years before the shooting. The Air Force should have reported his criminal history to the FBI’s background check system, which would have kept him from purchasing a firearm. Multiple other Sutherland Springs families are suing the federal government for failing to do so, and one other family, who lost three membersfiled a lawsuit last year against Academy Sports + Outdoors alleging similar violations.

The Dallas News dug up an “expert” who thinks the plaintiffs have an argument…although she admits that it’s extremely unusual.

Emily Taylor, a gun law expert in San Antonio, said she believes Solis and Ramirez have a case. Federal law prohibits licensed gun dealers from selling to residents of other states unless the buyer meets them in person and the sale “fully” complies “with the legal conditions of sale in both such States.”

“I think Academy screwed up,” Taylor said, adding this case is also extremely rare. “In fact, in practice I have never seen anything like this come up.”

Watch this space.

comments

  1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    Magazines aren’t a firearm.

    1. avatar Million says:

      Well sure, if you want to get technical. “Technically” they’re not firearms. But my feelings tell me a magazine is a gun.

      1. avatar Ranger Rick says:

        All about the “Feels”.

      2. avatar Rad Man says:

        Yep, dropping the ‘F’ bomb.

      3. avatar mike says:

        You need psychiatric help with thoughts like that.

    2. avatar arc says:

      A magazine is an integral part of a firearm and is protected in every way under the COTUS. Inclusive in “arms” is also the powder, bullets, and tool work required to operate said “arms”.

      Its pretty difficult to bear arms without the required materials to make them functional arms.

      Shall not be infringed.

      1. avatar George says:

        HOOAH!

  2. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Of course, if they had only sold him 15 round magazines, he would not have been able to commit the shooting.

    [/drippingwithsarcasm]

    1. avatar Marcus says:

      DOH!

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Yeah, as I recall, he fired 450 rounds, they might have a valid complaint if he had used a 450-rd mag, but if he reloaded 15 times, I see no reasonable claim he could not have reloaded 30 times.

  3. avatar Draven says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, the Colorado law is only on the purchase of standard capacity magazines in that state. It doesn’t ban the possession or manufacture of them at all- hence why the CO assembly was ‘surprised’ that Magpul left the state.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Talk about a totally meaningless, feel-good law. Sheesh! I wonder if you would be breaking any federal law if you just sold all such stuff (ammo, magazines, bumpfire, etc) by mail order to anyone, anywhere. Sure would screw up this kind of nonsense.

    2. avatar Pyratemime says:

      The claim in the suit is…

      A. Federal law says you can’t sell firearms to people out of state where the sale would be illegal in their home stay so…

      B. Sale of the standard capacity magazine in CO is illegal if manufactured after the ban went into affect and he was a resident of CO so…

      C. Sale of a new manufactured standard capacity magazine as part of the firearms sale should have blocked the sale.

      This ignores that magazines are not firearms and thus not covered under the prohibition.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        So, they could have substituted a 10-rd magazine and sold him the rifle, along with 15 30-rd magazines, at the same time? I would sure demand a jury trial, they would laugh you right out of the courthouse.

      2. avatar Lawbob says:

        No. The magazine issue is a red herring. It means nothing. A Colorado resident is not precluded from driving to Texas and buying 30 round mags and using out of state. They just cannot bring them back.

        The law at issue is that an ffl can sell long guns to a non resident only if they comply with that non residents state laws.

        Colorado allows residents to purchase long guns from contiguous states. Texas isn’t contiguous.

        He put Colorado down as his residence on the 4473. But he has a Texas DL and he had been living in Texas, not Colorado, for years.

        His actual residence is what matters. It’s texas.

    3. avatar Jack says:

      “Unless I’m mistaken, the Colorado law is only on the purchase of standard capacity magazines in that state”

      You are correct. The CO law has no extraterritorial effect upon its residents.

      FYI, I am a lawyer (thought not licensed in CO) and have read the relevant bits of the CO code.

      1. avatar Justsomeguy says:

        I know it’s likely to be a complicated issue, but I don’t understand the legal reasoning that any state, say CO would have any bearing on what one of it’s residents does in Texas. They are in Texas, not CO and It seems to me that only Texas law should apply. Now if I buy something in TX that is illegal in CO, I can instantly see the problem with my taking it there, but if I never take it there, how is it CO’s business?

        This also relates to the internet sales tax policy. If I live in TX and you live in CO and you want to buy something from me, so be it. I don’t see how CO can force me who is not in their jurisdiction, to pay homage to them.

        I’d really like to see what kind of response this gets, but with this sorry comment system, I will have to check back repeatedly because it won’t notify me of responses.

    4. avatar BradleyD says:

      The biggest loophole are magazine ‘kits’. Basically you buy a complete magazine that just doesn’t have to bottom plate on it and you need to slide it into place. About 10 seconds of work and you have, ta dah, assembled a magazine. Not illegal since you didn’t buy an assembled magazine and you assembled it yourself.

      The main pain is trying to fine wonky mags. AR 15, AK 47, and AK 74 mag kits are fairly easy to find.

      1. avatar Matt says:

        A lot of places won’t sell such kits in to states where sale or possession of standard capacity mags is banned.

        Also it IS breaking the law in all states where you cannot buy a standard capacity magazine. Or at least all of the states I am aware of. Those states where possession is allowed, but you can’t buy them, MANUFACTURE is also banned within the state.

        Also a DA could probably argue constructive intent if you bought a bunch of mag kits. Or even separate magazine pieces that covered everything to assemble a bunch of mags.

    5. avatar Matt says:

      Yeah a couple of states with capacity bans only ban the sale, transfer, manufacture or purchase of “high capacity” magazines IN THE STATE. I’ve seen DA opinion letters from such states that have said that if a resident of the state were to bring their legally owned property in from another state, no laws broken.

      IE if you go out of state, you can buy your standard capacity magazines and bring them back in the state. No laws broken. You just can’t buy or transfer the same magazines within your stupid state.

      Unless CO law is dramatically different, IE possession is banned, odds are good the sale broke no laws at all.

      Even a CA or NJ resident probably wouldn’t be breaking a law by buying a standard capacity magazine out of state. They just couldn’t then bring said magazine in to Californistan or New Jerky.

      1. avatar DonS says:

        IE if you go out of state, you can buy your standard capacity magazines and bring them back in the state. No laws broken. You just can’t buy or transfer the same magazines within your stupid state.
        Unless CO law is dramatically different, IE possession is banned, odds are good the sale broke no laws at all.

        Colorado law (CRS 18-12-302) prohibits the sale, transfer, and possession of “large-capacity magazines”. There is an exception if you owned the magazine on July 1, 2013 and have maintained continuous possession.

        If a Colorado resident (who isn’t a manufacturer, retailer, LEO, etc.) drives to another state, buys some 30-round magazines, and brings them home, he commits – at a minimum – a “class 2 misdemeanor” as soon as he crosses the border into Colorado.

  4. avatar johnny go lightly says:

    Put a couple of poor survivors in with some fast talking lawyers and they will agree to anything you want. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    1. avatar Icabod says:

      When the lawsuit fails those that were sued will come after the plaintiffs. They will ask for court costs and damages. Then all the lawyers and gun grabbers will fade into the woodwork.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/colo-shooting-victim-parents-broke-suing-gun-seller-article-1.2583138
      https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/08/aurora-lawsuit-brady-campaign/

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        As they should, I’ve no sympathy at all for parents who decide lawfare is the tactic to feel better about the loss of a family member.

        They lost their daughter, now they can lose the rest of their possessions. Perhaps their friends at The Trace and Mom’s demand action will cover the tab.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Wanna bet?

  5. avatar D Y says:

    Now retailers are expected to know tax laws in every state, so I don’t see how making retailers know firearms law for other states is much of a stretch from that.

    Not saying I agree with either of those ideas, but precedent appears to be there.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      Marijuana is legal in California and a felony in Nevada. So if a Nevadan comes to California and touches marijuana, who arrests him? Conversely, if a Californian goes to Nevada and gambles at a casino, is he (or the casino) committing a crime since it is illegal in California? California also has strict emission standards for vehicles. If I go to an other state and am provided a brand new diesel VW Jetta (which you can’t legally buy in California), is the seller commiting a crime? This circular logic crap is stupid, but for some reason it makes perfect* sense* when it applies to guns, because: GUNS!!!!…… and, remember to vote in November. 6.5 Creedmoore is write in candidate for Governor of California.

      1. avatar Tim says:

        I agree with your point, but marijuana is not illegal in Nevada. California and Nevada both voted to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2016 and it has actually been available for purchase for about 6 months longer in Nevada since they got the admin stuff knocked out faster.

      2. avatar Matt says:

        Except everything you mentioned according to the laws of the state you are standing in are legal. Your home state has zero jurisdiction over you when you are standing in another state.

        That said, under FEDERAL law, MJ would still be a crime. In addition, under FEDERAL law, you can’t buy a firearm in a different state if it is illegal in your state of residency.

        Under state law, your state of residency can’t do a thing if what you do doesn’t occur within the boundaries of your state of residency. Of course you couldn’t then bring that VW back in to CA and register it, etc.

    2. avatar Lawbob says:

      Academy is fully aware of who they can sell to – there’s a nice little map behind the counter.

      They didn’t make a mistake. He had a Texas DL and he resided in Texas. For several years.

  6. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    By that logic…virtually no sales to anyone with a California, NY or NJ license or residence…good to know…

    1. avatar Draven says:

      Most of the states surrounding CA do exactly that.

      1. avatar bobo says:

        cough’ No one checked me when I was in AZ visiting relatives, when those USED 30 rd mags FELL into my cars trunk …you know, the ones with no dates codes, all metal…cough’

        then I did not find them until my range day in LA ” humm these must have been LOST here for the last decade or so –will wonders never cease”…cough

      2. avatar Kyle says:

        Cash baby!

        No id check needed if your paying cash.

    2. avatar BLAMMO says:

      It’s the “chilling effect”. You’d be surprised at what most online merchants will not ship to NY, even though there are no restrictions. AIM Surplus won’t sell lower receivers at all, stripped, complete or otherwise. Some big-box retailers, like Cabela’s and Midway won’t ship ammo at all. Most will only ship ammo to an FFL. A few will ship ammo directly to the buyer because they know the ammo restrictions in the SAFE Act remain a myth.

      Chilling effect.

      1. avatar Anon in Ct says:

        CT’s not quite that bad, but all major online ammo sellers require a copy of my CT permit (except for Natchez, which won’t sell to CT, so F ’em) – and then of course AIM Surplus suffered a massive data breach. Also, most sellers will only sell me 10 round mags, and some also want to see a permit for that.

        That said, if I drive to PA for the day, buy some 30 round mags, shoot with them all day, and then leave them there with my PA friends before I go home I have not broken any laws. The CT law doesn’t care what I do when outside the state, so long as I don’t bring home those eeeeevil standard capacity mags.

        Also, Bud’s is really sh*tty about selling stuff to CT – They won’t pull mags from guns, and even before 2013 they wouldn’t sell neutered MSRs to CT. Grabagun.com, however, is great – they know the law, they ship fast, and if there is no SKU with crippled mags, then they will pull the standard capacity ones before shipping.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Hey, I live in Texas, USA, and most of what you wrote there I don’t even understand. Are you certain you’re in America? When those laws were passed, did crime decrease?

  7. avatar John Q Public says:

    2nd Amendment is the law of the land…’SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!’ It’s as simple as that…There should be NO state schemes that infringe upon any constitutional right….If your Adjudicated a criminal , then you should be incarcerated in prison, or your insane–in a mental healthcare facility…It’s that simple…No BS, suggestimg that one person from one state, going into another…DOESN’T have the same rights as other US citizens in other states…Is just plain ridiculous…! All schemes created by other states that infringe upon any constitutional right…Should be immediately nullified and abolished!

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Yes, it’s funny how people think state and federal laws trump the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        Thats because they are.

        State government passes an unconstitutional law, whole thing gets tied up in the courts for 3+ years, the state statute gets thrown out, State government passes another Unconstitutional statute again, rinse repeat.

        California has been doing this for years. I’m a gun owner and I have ABSOLUTELY ZERO IDEA what the current gun laws are. It is simply imposible for those not directly involved in the sale, distribution, and prosecution of law breaking, to keep up here. The laws change, often by the month.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          Sadly, unconstitutional laws are often held up by corrupt justices who think their own personal opinion trumps the law.

  8. avatar Baldwin says:

    What about the good guy with a gun (with a 30 round magazine) that intervened in this incident????

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Yeah, I wonder where he bought his guns and magazine?

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Wait, wait, WAIT!!! Aren’t we all forgetting that the shooting was in TEXAS? Not CO? Am I wrong, there? So the case is about the shooter was a CO resident, he shouldn’t be able to buy a 30-rd mag in TX to shoot people in TX? That REALLY sounds stupid.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        The shooter wasn’t exactly a resident of Colorado, as I recall, but used a Colorado license when he purchased the rifle that he still had from when he used to live there. Hence the connection–as strained as it is.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Lord, but that is thin. Thanks, Mark.

        2. avatar bobo says:

          LarryinTX says:
          August 8, 2018 at 12:41

          Lord, but that is thin. Thanks, Mark.

          Thin!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          so thin, its like seeing a Dem Orat asking Trump to deport illegal voter aliens???

      2. avatar Baldwin says:

        LarryinTX….my point was that 30 round mags are evil, mean, wicked and nasty in CO but not in TX.

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          Afraid you got that wrong.

          You left out “bad”, and mangled the sequence: “Evil, wicked, mean, BAD, and nasty”.

  9. avatar Squiggy81 says:

    Reading the laws cited in the article, it appears they do in fact have a case (although I’m no lawyer). The law reads in such a way that the burden of proof is on Academy to show they had no knowledge of the laws of Colorado. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt their business too bad. I like Academy.

    1. avatar Icabod says:

      Isn’t the important work “firearm.”
      Colorado had no ban on the gun. It did limit 30 round magazines.
      Does anyone recall going through a background check when they purchased just a magazine?

      In Colorado “But the new laws don’t apply in bordering states such as Wyoming, where gun store owners say Coloradans are traveling to buy magazines in transactions that are now banned in their home state.”
      https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C9BKJA_enUS594US595&hl=en-US&ei=3h5rW7zeHMuW0gLV743ACw&q=magazine+purchase+background+check&oq=magazine+purchase+background+check&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.3…20383.31349..32387…0.0..0.207.1996.24j2j1……0….1………0j41j0i71j33i22i29i30j0i22i30j0i131j0i131i67j0i13j0i7i30j30i10j33i10.TBsfwUAFaUA

      1. avatar Squiggy81 says:

        If they had swapped the standard mag for a 15 rd it would be compliant, but they sold the firearm with the 30 rounder it came with. After he bought the gun, there would be nothing academy could have done to stop him from buying standard mags, but the way I read the law, they can’t sell him an AR with a standard magazine.

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      I hope you’re wrong for your sake….. knowing how New York and California law makers are manipulating the system, I wouldn’t be suprised if they passed a law that makes everybody an honorary California citizen, thus extending the “protections of California law” to all peoples in the United States…. I know this sounds ridiculous but look at all the insanity that passes for normal here and how much money, political power, and judical cover goes in to normalizing the madness.

    3. avatar Mark N. says:

      Nah, see the other lawyer above. it is only illegal to sell a 30 round magazine IN Colorado, and when buying mags, no background check is performed. If the shooter had RETURNED to Colorado (and there is no evidence that he did), his POSSESSION of the magazine would be illegal. I, for example, am a California resident. I can drive over to Reno and buy up as many 30 round mags as I like. No crime is committed until I transport them into California, where it is illegal to import or possess such mags unless they were acquired prior to 1/1/2000. The seller is not required to check my ID for the sale, or required to refuse to sell them to me because I am a California resident.

      The situation is different if I try to buy mags on line. If I buy 30 round mags from an out of state dealer, that dealer commits a crime punishable in California by shipping them to me at a California address–because he becomes the “importer” of the mags.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Why wouldn’t it be the USPS being prosecuted by CA for “importing”? That would be fun.

      2. avatar Draven says:

        The Colorado law isn’t like the one in CA (former CA resident here)… it doesn’t say that you can’t bring them into the state, just that you can’t buy or sell them in the state. As someone replied earlier, its just a feel good law with no teeth.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Heartfelt congratulations on “former”.

        2. avatar Lawbob says:

          Are you sure it’s just buy sell?

        3. avatar Draven says:

          when i read it, that’s what i understood it as.

        4. avatar DonS says:

          The Colorado law isn’t like the one in CA (former CA resident here)… it doesn’t say that you can’t bring them into the state, just that you can’t buy or sell them in the state.

          The Colorado law (CRS 18-12-302) prohibits the sale, transfer, and possession of “large-capacity magazines”:

          (1) (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, on and after July 1, 2013, a person who sells, transfers, or possesses a large-capacity magazine commits a class 2 misdemeanor.

          Existing owners are grandfathered:

          (2) (a) A person may possess a large-capacity magazine if he or she:
          (I) Owns the large-capacity magazine on July 1, 2013; and
          (II) Maintains continuous possession of the large-capacity magazine.

          You’re correct that the law doesn’t expressly say that you can’t bring them into the state. However, unless you owned them on July 1, 2013, you’d be in violation of the “possession” ban as soon as you crossed the border.

    4. avatar Sam in Ohio. says:

      Academy has multiple defenses besides the Federal statute cited in the article. For plaintiffs to prevail, they will have to prove that Academy’s actions or failures to act were the proximate cause of their injuries.

      One well recognized defense in these cases is that the proximate cause of the injuries were the “intervening criminal act” of the shooter. Had the shooter not committed multiple crimes upon the plaintiffs, they would not have been injured.

      The problem in these cases isn’t that you’ll be found liable, it’s the costs to win the case. That said, if the case was filed in Federal District Court or Academy can transfer the case to Federal District Court, they may be able to get an award of attorney fees/litigation costs. However, an award is not receipt of payment for the award.

      Bottom line is Academy should prevail, but it will take 3 years and a lot of money that they won’t recoup to get there.

  10. avatar m. says:

    i would not stop @ academy if i had explosive dysentery, but f the lawsuiters & their lie-whores

  11. avatar little horn says:

    doesn’t matter. states are not liable to uphold the laws of other states. wtf is wrong with these people?? thtats what FEDERAL laws are for.

    1. avatar Binder says:

      Federal Firearms Licence Holders (notice the Federal) are required to follow Federal Law. Federal Law (not state law) requires that a FFL who sells a firearm to a out of state resident follows the customers state laws. Academy violated Federal Law if it knowing sold a firearm that is NOT complaint with the state laws of the customer. Claiming that a MAJOR retailer that exists in 16 states does not know the Federal code, nor the state restrictions is going to be an interesting defense.

      1. avatar California Richard says:

        You are technically correct Binder but your statement is irrelevant here. The firearm is legal in Colorado and Texas.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Binder, I would consider that Fed law you describe as a prime target for appeal/repeal. Let CA attempt to enforce CA laws on CA voters, etc. Why does a Texas retailer have to do so?

    2. avatar Lawbob says:

      The ffl says they must comply w non resident state law. That’s the federal law

  12. avatar former water walker says:

    Gee Indiana gun seller’s sure know Illinois laws…some ignore or don’t give a rat’s azz though. Most won’t ask for ID unless buying a gat. None(as far as I know) will flaunt federal law. Does Colorado border Texas?!? Nope. I would say the lawsuit file folk have a slight case(but won’t win!)

    1. avatar Binder says:

      ID is ONLY required for a firearm. Magazines are NOT a FFL transaction. If Academy just sold the magazines they will be in the clear. If the Firearm include one magazine they are likely to lose. If the magazines AND firearm (assuming the firearm itself did not include a 30 round magazine)are in a single transaction, that will be an interesting case.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        You talking to ME Binder? Sounds great in theory. Cabela’s(Hammond,Indiana) won’t sell me chit without my FOID. Ammo or anything firearm related. Ditto for wallyworld. The other border gunshops APPRECIATE my business…no Academy anywhere near me. They don’t impress me much.

  13. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    Good luck with that, it’s up to the purchaser of any item to understand the laws of their home state when returning to that state with that item. I’m sure that there are many items banned or restricted in some states but not in others, this is no different.

    He did not purchase a firearm with an out of state ID, merely an accessory (albeit important). A retailer can only be expected to understand the laws of the state in which they are located, not the laws of every state, county or city in the nation.

  14. avatar Binder says:

    It is very simple (even TAG can figure this out). If the rifle sold as is included 30 round magazines it was NOT legal for sale in Colorado, falls under a FFL transaction, FFL rules apply and thus Academy has a real problem. If the 30 round magazines were purchased separately, this is NOT a FFL transaction and no basis for a law suit. What is going to really screw over Academy is if Ruger included some kind of notice that the gun was NOT legal in certain states including Colorado.

    I think Dan should talk to John Boch (as he is used to dealing with Illinois laws) before writing articles on TAG dealing with interstate commerce involving firearms.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Was the Academy in TX? Was the shooting in TX? Who cares about Minnesota law? Or CO, NY, CA or anyone else? And let’s not forget he used FIFTEEN 30-rd mags, all of them did not come with the gun.

      1. avatar Binder says:

        It is Federal Law.
        Hell TAG links to it
        18 U.S. Code § 922
        I just stated that the other magazines fall outside of the FFL laws.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Which magazine is which? Can you identify which one came with the rifle? Can you prove the magazine which shipped with the rifle had not been lost before it was sold? A completely generic and unserialized mag cannot possibly cause a court battle to be decided if it cannot even be identified or proven to exist! The prosecution here ought to be only for the dead shooter failing to move his driver’s license to Texas when he moved.

  15. avatar Gunrunner says:

    I’m very conservative when it comes to firearms law, especially since I sell firearms for a living. I’d either pull the mag or swap it for a 10-round if I sold a rifle to a Colorado resident.

    If you don’t want to have to know the gun laws of other states, don’t sell to non-residents. Obviously, Colorado is a tougher call/interpretation than whether or not you can sell a standard AR to a Californian, but better safe than sorry.

    That said, we don’t know that Academy did not pull the mag or do a swap. He clearly had more than the 1 mag a rifle comes with.

    1. avatar Lawbob says:

      If you’re in Texas you can’t sell to a Colorado resident. Swapping the mag is irrelevant

  16. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    Doesn’t an AR-556 come with a single 30 round magazine? Didn’t he fire 450 rounds meaning it’s likely he owned 15 magazines?

    Would the BG check performed at the time of purchase flag up that the rifle & included 30 round magazine were illegal in CO? Does this imply that any resident of CO cannot legally own a 30 round magazine even if it’s stored in another state?

    So many questions!!!!

  17. avatar K2 says:

    They should sue the Department of the Air Force for failure to report the shooters felony assualt & domestic violence convictions. I wonder if a civilian contracting company was responsible for paperwork that was never processed, a much better target to sue than the Federal Gov.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I suspect (don’t know) that the military has not complied with these firearms rules because the military recognizes that they are unconstitutional. Added noise here may end up forcing them to comply.

  18. avatar black and most hated on all 50's says:

    Magazine’s are for people who read. They wont ban Hustler they wont ban Better Homes and Gardens, I would assume the magazine ban would effect Ebony first

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    I can’t sell firearms to out-of-state residents because MA law requires a MA LTC or FID to purchase a firearm (or ammo). This solves a lot of potential problems for me.

    I don’t check ID for the purchase of an accessory. Who would?

  20. avatar CWT says:

    I’m a bit confused. Isn’t it federal law that if I purchase a handgun or rifle with a pistol grip in a state other then my own it has to be sent to an FFL in my state for the bgc and pick up?

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      He lived in Texas but had Colorado residency. He bought the rifle in Texas. He bought the magazines in Texas. All perfectly legal. Air Force dropped the ball… the only reson we are all sitting on pins and needles when these cases come up, is because we’ve all placed our freedom in the heands of the Black Robed Oligarchy. Our “freedom” is dictated to us by the whims of a benevolent few.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Go, TRUMP!!! 8 Years, not a day less! I want at least 2 more justices confirmed by a Republican controlled Senate! 7-2 has a nice ring.

      2. avatar Lawbob says:

        You reside where you live. He did not maintain a residence in Colorado

  21. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

    Will be interesting to see how the litigants establish that he was a “citizen of Colorado” when he was living in TX and had passed a TX background check to obtain certification as a security guard. He could reasonably be considered a TX resident (even if he hadn’t gotten to obtaining a new driver’s license or whatever ID was used for the gun sale).

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/21/texas-church-gunman-lied-about-past-to-become-a-security-guard-records-show/?utm_term=.3889be10c79d

  22. avatar Ogre says:

    That photo reminded me of my days with Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
    Sergeant: “Did THAT hurt?”
    Marine: “Yes, Sergeant!”
    Sergeant: “Good! Get moving or it’ll hurt more!”

  23. avatar Anymouse says:

    When the law went into effect, FFLs still sold the guns, but they’d keep the offending magazines. Federal law only regulates the transfer of the receiver. The store can add or remove accessories, the box, etc. During the federal AWB, I remember unscrupulous dealers replace magazines in used guns with 10 round and selling the full capacity magazines on the side for a premium.

    Mags made (not even possessed) before the law are not covered. As a Coloradan, I can buy post-2013 magazines out of state, and use, store, or sell them out of state. The only thing I can’t do is bring them back to CO, but nobody enforces it outside of Denver/Boulder. Proving it is practically impossible except for mags not invented before 2013 or plastic mags with dated molds. With the dated molds, I could still claim that I replaced the body of a broken pre-13 mag, and it would be hard to prove otherwise.

    Legally, what’s important is the residence he put on his 4473. If it says TX, CO law has no effect. Many places won’t sell long guns to out of staters because of the hassle of conforming with laws in 2 states. To be legal, Academy would need to run a CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigations) check and pay the $10 Hickenlooper tax for the privilege of running it. I’m guessing they did none of that since he was a Texan with a CO ID. He’d need additional proof of Texas residency, like a voter Id, vehicle registration, or the security permit mentioned in article.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      To be legal, Academy would need to run a CBI (Colorado Bureau of Investigations) check and pay the $10 Hickenlooper tax for the privilege of running it.

      The section of Colorado law that establishes the CBI as the point of contact, imposes the fee, etc. is CRS 24-33.5-424. That section also defines the term “transfer”:

      (d) “Transfer” means the sale or delivery of any firearm in this state by a transferor to a transferee. “Transfer” shall include redemption of a pawned firearm by any person who is not licensed as a federal firearms licensee by the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms or any of its successor agencies.

      A Texas-based FFL selling a long gun to a Colorado resident, where the sale and delivery take place in Texas, is not a “transfer” for the purposes of CRS 24-33.5.424. Thus, the CBI isn’t the point of contact for such a sale.

      Academy wouldn’t contact the CBI. They’d do whatever FFLs do in Texas (contact NICS directly?).

  24. avatar FedUp says:

    Google search terms for Solis and Ramirez’ attorney: “lucky gunner aurora”.

    Yes, I know you claim it’s different, because an unconstitutional Colorado law prohibits the sale, not possession, inside Colorado of a magazine that was sold in Texas, used in Texas, and you’ve provided zero evidence ever spent a single minute inside Colorado. Guess what? Your frivolous action is no different from the frivolous action that those Brady acolytes resorted to bankruptcy to avoid responsibility for.

    If I were the judge, I’d assess sanctions on you, personally, for your shameless attempt at fraud upon the court.

  25. avatar RMS1911 says:

    “Kelley, who killed himself as he was fleeing police, was an Air Force veteran who was convicted of domestic abuse and discharged for bad conduct years before the shooting. ”
    Oh so now the police were involved not two upstanding citizens.

  26. avatar Lawbob says:

    Magazine issue is wholly irrelevant. A Colorado resident can legally buy 30 round magazines in Texas. They just can’t bring them back to Colorado.

    The issue here is: federal law allows purchase of long guns to other state citizens if that state allows their citizens to purchase from another state.

    Colorado allows this from contiguous states. Texas isn’t contiguous so a Texas FFL is precluded from selling to a Colorado resident

    He listed his Colorado address on the 4473. But that’s non dispositive.

    He had a Texas DL and he lived (resided) in Texas at his parents place for well over 2 years.

    The Colorado address he mostly likely inadvertently put down is no longer his residence (he didn’t live there any longer after his divorce).

    The plaintiffs are claiming academy broke the law by selling to a Colorado resident against the rules of sale.

    That’s their case.

    (There’s a map of who they can sell to clearly printed behind the counter.)

    But he was a Texas resident. His actual residence is what matters. Where did he intend to live and where did he actually live. (There’s case law on this for someone living briefly abroad who intended to make a certain state his home. And he won. ).

    My take is the clerk was shown a Texas DL. The 4473 was called in using that ID and the sale was authorized by NICS.

    Furthermore, had that academy said hey I can’t sell to you within a Colorado address, he would have corrected himself and either written the actual residence in Texas, or if denied, he would have gone to the other academy and filled it out correctly.

    He had a Texas DL and he resided in Texas. Case closed.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      The issue here is: federal law allows purchase of long guns to other state citizens if that state allows their citizens to purchase from another state.
      Colorado allows this from contiguous states. Texas isn’t contiguous so a Texas FFL is precluded from selling to a Colorado resident

      I don’t see anything in Colorado law that prohibits a Colorado resident from purchasing a long gun from a licensed dealer in any state he pleases and bringing that gun back to Colorado. That is, the purchase just has to comply with federal law (i.e. 18 USC 922 (a)(3) and (b)(3)).

      CRS 12-27-101 through 12-27-104 used to address “Firearms – Purchase in Contiguous State”, but all of Article 27 was repealed in 2014.

  27. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    As a non-attorney who has not closely followed the case, if he had a TX drivers license, the store would have made the reasonable assumption that he was a TX resident. As far as I know, there is no federal requirement for an FFL to demand two ID’s. State law can be different e.g. a handgun purchase permit state but this was a rifle in TX. Those who are FFL’s will hopefully know better than me. Some of us can be considered residents of two states. I have a driver’s license from one state and according to the law I am also a resident of the adjacent state because of a residential lease I have in that state. I have purchased from FFL’s in both states and in the adjacent state the FFL was quite surprised when he ran the 4473 and background check that he was allowed to sell to me (long gun, 10 round magazine). I would not have been able to purchase a handgun or a long gun with a 30 round mag without a local driver’s license – that is in the law in the adjacent state. I will give the benefit of the doubt to Academy that they know the law, much as I don’t want to because they won’t let customers try the triggers. At least it is a large chain store with I am sure a competent legal staff, not some local guy that the grabbers would have a laugh as they destroy his life.

  28. avatar Arizona Free says:

    Residents of any particular state should not be precluded from purchasing any goods from another state. Just because California wants to restrict sales of whatever product is the flavor of the day it should not be allowed. We should not be made unwilling accomplices in their twisted train of thought. Also in the suit stated that the “citizen” of one state. Residents yes but we are citizens of one country not one state.

  29. avatar Sora says:

    Let’s hope this goes all the way to Supreme Court. We can get a few pigs with one stone, and leave these assholes broke with their fake lawsuit costs, Just like Aurora shooting lawsuit families.

    Use http://www.nra-ila.org to locate your local senator and tell them to vote for SCOTUS nominee. I hear Democrat Joe Manchin just flipped! Pressure them before the elections. Democrat from Florida is facing popular traitor Rick Scott and he will flip, too.

  30. avatar Chuck Klasek says:

    One plus one equals two. It seems simple enough to me. The only thing related to putting together a fully functual firearm are numbered and registered by the NFA. Magazines AREN’T – therefore, they’re NOT a ‘firearm’, are they? They can’t fire a round – only HOLD them. Capacity is no more an argument than barrel length makes a rifle or pistol.THEREFORE, there is specious argument that the magazine had to do with the shooting.

    It’s the A$$hole who fired the GUN, not ‘fired the magazine’ who should be prosecuted, if not persecuted. DON’T blame the tool for a bad job..blame the USER. Of COURSE, you COULD also blame our over-litigious society, and its ‘don’t blame the one who did it, blame the one(s) with the deep pockets, however thin and vague the connection might be. SUE the hell out of them and live high on the hog!!!

    OR, do the RIGHT thing and sue the ONE who’s RESPONSIBLE, and enjoy the knowledge that The Right Thing was done. Maybe no one has the money to pay for medical fees, but THAT is something that can be fairly and honestly codified before too long; besides, people are always setting up funds for deserving people for whatever…why not have such a fund for VICTIMS who continue to do the Right Thing and not blame the merchant who’s trying to make a living selling what folks want?

    We have ‘sin taxes’ for liquor and tobacco, why not a 1% tax on sales of firearms accessories ONLY (or whatever you can fairly come up with between pro- & anti- gun parties), THAT can constitute at least the BASE of such a fund, which can be augmented by whomever chooses to do so.

    WHY NOT have a statute that if the party which has done a physical damage cannot reasonably PAY for medical costs (only), the INJURING PARTY(ies) will remain indebted to the injured until either the Court decides or the debt is paid. In the meantime, the treating hospital(s) will provide care as appropriate, holding the INJURING PARTY SOLELY RESPONSIBLE for ALL the associated medical costs IN PERPETUITY.

    THAT would be fair and honest, limit damage as much as can be, and hold the RESPONSIBLE PARTY(IES) WHOLLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE COSTS. If the retailer(s) involved wanted to make “goodwill contributions”, it would be GREAT PR as well as again DOING THE RIGHT THING.

    Is that so freaking hard? Are we damned do damning ourselves every time someone commits a crime? What is wrong with society in this case can most certainly be legislated against…

  31. Here’s a thought, if you can’t blame the shooter, sue the location that didn’t stop the shooter. Was the church a gun free zone? If yes, than they accepted responsibility for the safety of every person inside. Clearly they failed.

  32. avatar K schaefer says:

    Aside from the retarded comments, there is some great logical thinking going on here.
    However if guns are put in the hands of bad/the wrong people, felons etc. then we have a problem. Every damn time. This is where gun control laws are falling down. Yea I got it,
    we have a right to have firearms, but if you are a convicted felon, or exfelon, don’t you loose your rights because of it? I don’t know the law that well but as I understand it this is/or should be the case. Bad people will always have ways to obtain guns, but the courts and the laws need to do whatever it can to put a crimp to this problem. Then maybe the whining will spot. OR do away with the Lilly livered liberals… peace

  33. avatar David Keith says:

    If God had wanted to spare you from this shooting something would have happened so church wasn’t held that day. I’ve heard ten thousand people proclaim this happening before. But he didn’t perform a miracle so just deal with it. Maybe he didn’t like you. You can’t have it both ways.

  34. avatar james says:

    Can I recover damages from Boeing and GE for the world trade center attacks?

  35. avatar Alan says:

    Suit against the federal government was suggested above, which I find interesting and most appropriate. As I recall or understand, suits against the Feds require their permission, correct me if I’m wrong here. Think they would consent to a law suit, no matter how justified? I for one wonder. In any case, it seems easier to bring action against most anyone or anything other than the Feds, who in this case, well and truly, Screwed The Pooch.

  36. avatar Russell Lampe says:

    Guns and magazines are not sold for the purpose of commiting a crime just as gasoline sold in a can is not sold to toss on someone. The person pulling the trigger or throwing the match is the one that is guilty of a crime.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email