Cities with significant violent crime problems seem to be able to devote far more resources to going after lawful gun owners, retailers, and manufacturers than they are toward arresting and jailing violent recidivist felons. You might think a city with a persistent crime problem — one like, say, Chicago — would use as much of its time and money to incarcerate the relatively few criminals who comprise the majority of their violent crime problem.
You’d be wrong.
Instead of fingering the gang members and other felons who go in and out of its revolving door justice system faster than Al’s Beef can dish out sandwiches, Chicago’s politicians would rather spend time (and get headlines) rail against the alleged “iron pipeline” of guns that come in via surrounding states with less restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms. States like Indiana.
While blaming Indiana’s allegedly lax gun laws for Chicago’s problems, the city’s famously inept and corrupt pols never seem to notice (or refuse to acknowledge) that Indiana’s violent crime rate, even in a city like Indianapolis, is a small fraction of that in ChiTown. Go figure.
Anyway, that blame-the-other-guy ethos was the motivation behind a lawsuit the city of Chicago filed in 2001 against Westforth Sports, a Gary, Indiana gun retailer. Never mind the fact that selling guns is one of the most highly regulated retail trades in American business and that Westforth complies with all of the applicable laws involved. Chicago claimed that the Indiana gun seller “engaged in a pattern of illegal sales that has resulted in the flow of hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal firearms into the City of Chicago” where bad people then used them to do bad things.
But a funny thing happened on the way to another great sound bite for the city’s attorneys and the new mayor. Yesterday a Cook County Circuit Court Judge found that the city has no jurisdiction to sue Westforth Sports.
Circuit Court Judge Clare J. Quish wrote the following . . .
[T]he City’s claims alleged in its complaint relate solely to the actions of straw purchasers, Indiana residents who purchase guns from Westforth in Indiana. These claims to not arise out of or relate to the contacts Westforth has with Illinois (direct sales to Illinois residents either over the counter or through Illinois FFLs). There is no affiliation or connection between Westforth and the straw purchasers and Illinois sufficient to support the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction over Westforth. “When there is no connection, specific jurisdiction is lacking regardless regardless of a defendant’s unconnected activities in the State.”
In other words, the city of Chicago can’t sue Westforth because if doesn’t have jurisdiction over the Indiana retailer. And that, of course, was well before ever getting to the thorny, not insignificant issue of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
Here’s a press release from Westforth’s attorneys . . .
In another victory for firearms retailers everywhere, on May 25, 2023, the Ohio law firm of BraumǀRudd obtained an order in the case of City of Chicago v. Westforth Sports, Inc. (Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill. – Case No. 2021CH01987) dismissing the claims against its client, Westforth Sports, for lack of personal jurisdiction over the out-of-state retailer.
The City of Chicago sued the Indiana firearms retailer claiming that it sold handguns in Indiana that were alleged to have somehow later been transported by third parties into Illinois and used to cause unspecified harm in the City of Chicago. After written jurisdictional discovery, depositions, and a full hearing on the matter, however, the Court properly found that Constitutional due process does not allow an out-of-state firearms retailer to be hauled into court in Illinois unless the claims arise out of or relate to the defendant’s own contacts with the state.
This dismissal along with a similar ruling obtained by the attorneys at BraumǀRudd in the State of New York in the case of Williams v. Beemiller constitute two of the most significant jurisdictional rulings in favor of firearms industry members facing anti-gun governments and activists trying to gain an improper “home field advantage” in litigation.
BraumǀRudd’s attorneys represent members of the firearms industry across the country and internationally. In addition to consulting and regulatory work, its litigation practice seeks to protect and defend our industry against attacks from all sides. The firm is pleased to have done so successfully once again.
Westforth Sports needs to SUE for damages from malicious prosecution and harassment. Can they recover legal fees ? They should.
Amen. Even though they won in court they are saddled with legal fees that I believe Chicago should bear.
Although Brandon may suggest to the AFT to conduct a thorough audit of Westforth Sports to find anything that would result in a license revocation.
The scheme is to tie Crime around the neck of The Second Amendment.
Gun Control zealots know following a shooting milquetoast America will focus on the “Gun” while the furthest thing from their small minds is the criminal misuse of bats, bricks, fists, feet, fire, knives, vehicles, etc.
To Defend the 2A things must be kept separated…
1) The Second Amendment is one thing.
2) The criminal misuse of firearms, bricks, bats, knives, fists, feet, knives, vehicles, etc. is another thing.
3) History Confirms Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is a racist and nazi based Thing.
If my house is on fire and I ignore it can I sue an out-of-state match maker for the damages?
I’ve bought a gat & a helluva lot of other stuff at Westforth in Calumet Township(near Gary). And my buddy bought(an Indiana resident now) bought at least 3 gats there. They are GOOD FOLKS! They’ve done gunsmithing for me without charge! I’ve seen more than one 4473 rejected. They quit selling to Illinois residents. And Westforth is retiring & closing soon. The crime in Chiraq won’t go down a dam bit!🙄
It’s very unfortunate that it’s so difficult to get a legal gun in Chiraq. A mother who is walking with her baby in a stroller, should be able to pull her gun out and shoot “Batwoman” to death.
Before the “Batwoman” has a chance to murder her newborn child. Because that apparently was the stated goal of this “Batwoman”.
And it seems we as a society are comfortable with newborn children being murdered out in public. By the mentally ill. Who occasionally also shoot up schools. But because people keep saying, “it’s very rare” and “it doesn’t happen very often”, that just appears to be the “collateral damage” of allowing the mentally ill to run free.
“Video shows bat-wielding woman attack women with stroller in Albany Park”
video 4 min long
An arrest has been made. And it is a white woman with a Spanish surname. So this story will disappear very quickly. It doesn’t fit the narrative.
“Woman Faces Felony Charges After Police Say She Attacked Multiple Victims With Bat”
video 2 min long
I wonder how much $$$ Chicago spent on this bit of crazy.
good question? was it more or less than the salaries and benies of ex mayor grotes 50 bodyguards ?
50 firearm-armed body guards. Lori was serious about protecting her life from criminal attack…but absolutely enjoyed and serious and delighted about the fact that she didn’t want the citizens to be able to protect their lives with firearms from the very criminal element she fostered and emboldened and facilitated.
dacien’s going to have the sads — his “iron pipeline” canard bites the dust.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-023-04463-x fun read and seems to apply to a few.
Seems the Leftist Anti-gun radicals have over stepped yet again.
Remington would have gotten a similar decision in the Sandy Hook litigation but they didnt have the stones to stand up to the press. I know, it was their insurance company that decided, but they could have self-defended if they really cared about their industry.
Unfortunately, the way the “legal system” is set up (by lawyers), protracted lawfare is prohibitively expensive. I worked for an insurance company and we would usually pay what we did not owe — rather than pay more to go to court, where we would probably lose anyway and have to pay even more still. At least settling isn’t recorded as a guilty admission; basically the case “goes away” once the extortion is paid.
“I worked for an insurance company and we would usually pay what we did not owe — rather than pay more to go to court, where we would probably lose anyway and have to pay even more still.”
That was my experience when my leg got crushed. It ended up taking the better part of 2 years, but the payoff was worth it. When I first sat down with him a month after it happened, I told him as far as I was concerned, if he could just get the outstanding medical bills covered, I would be happy. He said no problem, he would take care of it.
All said and done, he did his end, and I managed to get the metal plate and screws out (not covered by the person who hit me), totally debt-free and a nice chunk-o-change.
“At least settling isn’t recorded as a guilty admission; basically the case “goes away” once the extortion is paid.”
Yep, and that’s what took so long. The insurance company wants a quick-and-done settlement, my guy said be patient, it would be worth it. And it was.
I really feel bad for the truly destitute that dinged by something like that. Their desperation for *anything* after a serious injury (rent to pay, food, etc) means less the insurance company will pay out, on average. I was fortunate having a support system available to me willing to help, those who don’t will get jacked.
There’s something else at play, the percentage. The 20 percent my got for his efforts really encouraged his persistence and patience, because he got a plump payout, as well. I saw him and his wife out one night, and I told the delightful Mrs. I was highly pleased to help provide for their retirement. She laughed… 🙂
(I got *really* lucky, my guy is one of the truly good lawyers. His practice specializes in representing doctors being sued for malpractice, so he was up on all the legal terminology in dealing with hospitals.)
And no, I would not chose to get hit by a car again. I’ve got residual crap that will follow me as long as I live… 🙁
Geoff, I was a property adjuster, so the cases in which I became involved were more like the Remington settlement. That’s where we would often pay what we did not owe (contractually or third-party) because it was much cheaper than mounting a defense in court. Judges and juries don’t like insurance companies so the deck was stacked against us. That’s why Remington’s lawyers settled, and I was illustrating the reasons for Walter and Brodirt.
I never got involved in the “blood and guts” coverages; that legal song-and-dance was totally foreign to an “it is what it is” technician such as myself. (A fender is a fender, it has a set price, and so forth.)
Sorry you had to go through that.
Without a doubt, I agree whole heartedly with Brodirt.
I have to say to Man with no name, that there are times when you just have to stand up and fight rather than worry about money. That is the whole reason that these anti-gun radicals being these lawsuits.
Walter, keep that in mind should you happen to be falsely accused of a crime which you did not commit, yet have to spend some serious pocket change just to pay a lawyer to defend you in court. If your lawyer comes up to you and says, “Hey, this goes to a jury, you could LOSE and LOSE BIG — we should settle,” tell me how much you’d be willing to spend to roll the dice on a jury trial — keeping in mind that a gun manufacturer is even less likely to prevail before a jury and has millions of dollars at risk.
It isn’t snark to say it’s very expensive to be poor…
Man with no name, So your solution is? I’ve already been on that short end of the stick and came out winning.
Walter, my solution is that the corporation take the advice of their high-priced attorneys and settle a case before it gets to trial, when it is financially advantageous to do so.
Man, that is a SURE way to guarantee that you will get sued again over the same issue.
Indianapolis’s murder rate is nota fraction of Chicago’s… Indy’s is about 24 per 100,000 people and Chicago’s is about 28? Heck Chicago’s is not even in the top ten of cities.
What makes Chicago a special case is their politicians. For many years they denied the problem of gangs etc. Then, when they couldn’t deny that problem, instead of doing something about it, they turned the blame on other outside factors and demanded someone else be responsible.
Disarm the law abiding, make life difficult for legal FFL holders and firearms related businesses, and restrict the police from doing anything to get the actual criminals off the streets. Not just the city of Chicago, but the State as well.
Luckily for the politicians and some of the victims, most of those shot survive. How many Mondays do we see reports of 10 or 20 people wounded with just a few fatalities? Good thing for most shooting victims in Chicago the street punks, thugs and miscreants don’t bother to get any training or have access to or want to pay for range time to improve their aim and accuracy..
YEP CAN’T STOP CRAZIES OR DRUG LOARDS , SO GO AFTER LAW~ABIDING CITIZENS
Yes you can. The problem is the solution would not be popular with the Marxists, nor give the politicians and activists the warm fuzzies.