Indiana Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia
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By Lee Williams

Gary v. Glock is a 24-year-old lawsuit that refuses to die. 

Attorneys for the Brady gun control operation filed the lawsuit on behalf of the City of Gary, Indiana in 1999. At that time, more than 40 cities filed similar lawsuits, which sought to hold gun makers and dealers liable for murders that were committed using firearms. 

Some of the manufacturers named as defendants included GLOCK, Smith & Wesson, Colt, Sturm Ruger & Co., Beretta USA Corp. and Hi-Point. Various gun dealers – both national and local – were named in the City of Gary’s lawsuit. 

Fortunately, many states and the federal government passed laws to protect the firearms industry from this type of lawfare. By 2006, almost all of these nuisance lawsuits were quashed – all except for Gary v. Glock. 

The pesky lawsuit flared up again last month, when Indiana Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia denied motions to quash subpoenas for records maintained by several large Indiana gun dealers. 

As a result, the suboenaed dealers must now turn over their FFL Acquisition & Disposition books to the court. Those books contain the names and addresses of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun purchasers. 

Cabela’s has already complied with the subpoena, disclosing more than 200,000 transactions that occurred at its Hammond, Indiana store. We’re told that Bass Pro Shops will soon be ordered to report the details of more than 200,000 transactions that occurred at its Portage, Indiana store. Other dealers will soon receive similar subpoenas.

Background

The firearms industry had several chances to kill the suit. First, they appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court, which denied the companies’ motion to dismiss, stating that if the City’s allegations were proven, the companies would be liable for damages and injunctive relief. 

In 2005, the gun manufacturers tried again to dismiss the case by claiming it violated the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). A state appellate court found that the City’s case was not “barred by the PLCAA,” because the gun dealers and gun manufacturers allegedly violated Indiana’s public nuisance laws. 

In 2015, then-Gov. Mike Pence tried to help by amending Indiana’s immunity statute to make it retroactive to 1999 to cover the named defendants. But in 2019, Indiana’s Court of Appeals denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss, claiming that the amended statute did not protect the defendants from litigation. 

In his order last month, Judge Sedia wrote: 

After reviewing the filings of the parties, hearing oral argument and being fully advised … Gary may move forward on its public nuisance claim based upon the unlawful sales of firearms that have, indeed, harmed Gary.

Fallout 

The potential publication of personal information of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding gun owners is eerily similar to an interactive map of pistol permit holders that Gannett’s Journal News of Westchester County, New York published in 2012. 

The response to the newspaper’s map of gun owners was immediate and loud. Outraged gun owners pushed for the publication of the addresses of the journalists responsible for the travesty. The danger, many claimed, was that the newspaper created a handy tool for burglars seeking to break into homes and steal firearms. The same concerns now apply to Indiana’s gun owners thanks to Judge Sedia’s order.

Privately, some suspect state officials will likely turn over the data to federal officials like the ATF, which has been surreptitiously creating an illegal registry of gun owners since Joe Biden took office. 

For Indiana gun owners, the time to take additional steps to safeguard your property is now. 

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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56 COMMENTS

  1. It looks like Mark N. was right, there’s a movie coming out about civil war, 2.0.

    I wonder if they will pull the release and re-work the ending, like they did with that movie to hunt down conservatives for fun…

      • They had to re-shoot the ending so that the conservatives survived ‘The Hunt’…

        • It was a surprisingly entertaining movie that may have captured a lot of emotional issues on the left a bit too accurately. Honestly I am amazed it is still available in any format.

  2. Yeah I believe BS like this is why Westforth Gun’s is now extinct in Calumet Twnship. “Retired” as it were. Being harrassed by Chiraq & Gary(they were mere blocks from Gary city limit’s). Cabelas & parent company Bass Pro I assume couldn’t care less about Indiana gun owner’s. Patronize accordingly!🙄

  3. Anybody who’s driven through Indiana knows there’s no shortage of lawyers in the state. Anybody who’s driven through Gary would be surprised there’s anybody left there to pursue the lawsuit.

    • “Anybody who’s driven through Indiana knows there’s no shortage of lawyers in the state.”

      My church’s priest is board-certified to practice in Indiana and Florida and commutes between both states. (Very handy when squeezing the responsible parties to pay out what they owed me when I went un-planned flying when out for a bike ride…)

  4. “ claim based upon the unlawful sales of firearms”

    The plaintiffs and the judge have both liabled law abiding dealers by implying they were selling guns illegally. If true, the BATF would have shut them down. Since it’s provably not true, said dealers should be suing for liable.

    • Seriously; how would Indiana Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia like to have his home address posted for anyone to see?

  5. quote—————Privately, some suspect state officials will likely turn over the data to federal officials like the ATF, which has been surreptitiously creating an illegal registry of gun owners since Joe Biden took office. ———quote

    Very misleading statement. Any gun papered to you personally is registered to the ATF because the records can be accessed by the ATF at any time and when the gun dealer goes out of business his records are then turned over to the ATF which although they do not put the records in a computer they have a manual system of reviewing the records that is faster than what you might think.

  6. ATF, which has been surreptitiously creating an illegal registry of gun owners since Joe Biden took office. You meant since 1968 when the 4473 became law, right?

      • Haz,

        Well, that is certainly ONE reason (a major one, I’ll agree), but I think the overall motivating factor is . . . our dear gummint just doesn’t want us to have guns. Of any kind (but, like the Leftist/fascists always do, they are starting with the ‘low-hanging fruit’).

        One reason I have made several firearms of my own, and purchased several more in private transactions. What firearms I own is none of their goddamn business.

  7. Even if the courts can somehow justify their subpoenas to obtain all of those firearm transaction records, how are the lawful firearm purchasers not entitled to privacy regardless of how any of the parties to the lawsuit want to review the records?

        • Void,

          No, sadly, he can’t. And he’s been flogging that same stupid article, making that same ABSURDLY false and inapt argument, so often it is approaching the legendary status of his assertion that Article II, Section 8 of the Constitution authorizes universal government gun control. Once he grabs onto a stupid Leftist/fascist talking point, he never lets it go. Relationship to reality is not a factor.

        • Ospreys can hear it. Fortunately, we can only smell it when we dive for prey.

          I’m sure possums can too. (possa? possi? What is the plural of possums? For that matter, what is the plural of osprey?)

      • Justices Thomas and Scalia argued the same point which is also held among a number of Federal judges, congressmen, Senators and serious legal scholars… There is no specific amendment that procures the right to absolute privacy…

        • Privacy is property. You cannot create intellectual property in the absence of privacy. It will be stolen as fast as you create it.

          Being “secure in one’s possessions and effects’ is impossible in the absence of privacy.

          So, the 4th…

        • Where does the 4th (unreasonable search and seizure/probable cause) Amendment guarantee anyone the RIGHT to “privacy”? Maybe your dictionary has a completely different definition of words than mine… The 4th IS a good argument against many Red Flag Laws but does not protect “privacy”…

          It will be stolen as fast as you create it. Happens every day…

          Fourth Amendment:
          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

        • “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects”

          The people do have a right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, yes? In absence of privacy, such security is not possible. When a person’s privacy is violated, their 4th rights are violated, nullified and rendered void. As one who does not believe the Founders were aiming for Kafka-esque Catch-22s when they wrote the Bill of Rights, I gotta say …

          QED

          Privacy IS property.

  8. Gary may move forward on its public nuisance claim based upon the unlawful sales of firearms that have, indeed, harmed Gary.

    How can ANY manufacturer be held responsible for any “unlawful acts” or “illegal sales” involving their products once they have “legally” transferred that product to the custody of a lawful recipient? If THAT stands then can I sue Ford over that F150 that took me off the road in 2008? If they had not built that truck, then the drunk asshole could not have been driving it and if Budweiser had not brewed the beer that made him drunk, he would not have hit me… Hell, maybe I could sue Harley Davidson, if they had not built that bike, I wouldn’t have been riding that night… Whole fucking can of worms lurking in those shadows just waiting to spring… Ultimately do I have to sue myself because I like to ride at night which put me at that place at that time?

    • You forgot the folks that sold the drunk gasoline, and, and, the credit card company that gave him the plastic he used to buy the gas. Not to mention the car loan for the truck. They either knew, or should have known…

      Oh wait, do I smell a carve out for banks coming?

      • Sadly, you are right, Haz. And, I STILL see morons wearing masks. And in vehicles where they are alone! Stop this merri-go-round, I want off!

        • I saw one fairly recently. Like many of them, her nose was hanging out. Even if you thought it worked, would it work with your nose hanging out? At this point, I think it’s akin to a pacifier for some people.

    • Well buddy I was just in Cabelas in Hammond,Indiana. I informed several folk’s including an employee that their employer hates them& has no problems with naming names(illegally). So there’s that🙄

  9. It would seem the subpoena is overbroad if it requires sales information as to legal as well as illegal sales–the next question being what is an illegal sale and how will they prove which were illegal out of the mass of records being produced? Is Gary arguing that ALL sales are a violation of its public nuisance laws (because guns is bad, doncha know) and therefore illegal? And then the ultimate question, posed above, why would the manufacturers be liable for sales in which they did not participate, and for which there is no respondeat superior liability? Enterprise liability based on a standard that the manufacturers “knew or should have known” of the illegal sales by dealers and failed to do anything? I would like to see the logic–or lack thereof–behind the judge’s rulings.

  10. I seem to remember the fact that those 4473’s may ONLY be passed on to BATF, nowhere else, and then ONLY under certain specific circumstances, other than the mandated transfer of ALL 4473’s in the possession of an FFL who is closing their business.
    If that is fact, then no state level judge may order these forms tto be transferred to ANY entity other than BATF. In fact, not even a federal court can ot=rder those foirms be transferred a=to ANY entity other than BATF.

    I’d get the right attorney and petition a federal level court to overrule this illegal demand by this nuttjob “judge”. Indiana can have its on personal private nuisance laws, but they can NO WAY demand the 4473’s from dealers to go fishing for the handful of lawbreakers who should not have been able to buy a gun in their stinking state.

    and a pox upn Cabelas for caving to the judge’s demands, illegally. Cabelas has NO authority to surrender that personal infrmation to any entity other than BTF.

  11. When observing the overall corruption in our current federal administration, the FBI, the courts and general government, it would be wise to stockpile long term food stocks, stay out of large cities and stocking up on ammo. If things should turn into a SHTF situation the Police will not be coming to help you. They will be taking care of their own families. Many mush minded experts think it can’t happen. I am sure many Israelis thought the same on Oct 7th. Have you been to a large metro area? If the trucks stop running, they will be eating their neighbor’s dog withing two weeks. Bugging out? ever seen gridlock traffic on a Friday afternoon? In less than an hour, no one is going anywhere. It’s also nice to have a usable skill. Just an opinion.

  12. good for the idiot judge—now law abiding gun owners will get billions from the state for releasing personal information—we gun owners need more guns and free money to buy more guns with…

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