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Thursday, May 5, 2016

This Guy Now Knows How Firearm Manufacturers and Retailers Feel

It is unclear whether this is a letter to the Washington Post Editor or an Op/Ed but an individual named Ryan Albert wrote last week a whining piece about being sued after joining a group of malcontents trying to stop NOVA Armory from opening in northern Virginia:
I understand why people want firearms and I believe there are reasons to own hunting rifles, shotguns and, with proper training, handguns for self-defense. I do not believe, however, that there is any legitimate reason for ordinary citizens to own military-grade weapons or use suppressors (better known as silencers by many among us). Yet these are somehow legal to be bought and to own.

It is because of these beliefs that I posted on Facebook my opposition to Broadstone Security’s Nova Armory opening in Arlington County. The owner opened an online store that sells variants of AK-47s, AR-15s and other semiautomatic weapons, short-barreled rifles and silencers. Those weapons belong in the hands of our trained law enforcement and military personnel. An AR-15 makes a lousy self-defense weapon unless you are worried about guerrillas invading your home from a distant ridge.

Because I expressed these beliefs in two Facebook posts, I have been named as a defendant in a frivolous lawsuit that seems designed to intimidate me and 63 of my neighbors and state legislators into silence.
No Mr. Albert, it is not because you exercised your First Amendment rights that you were sued.  You were free to say as often as you want that you did not want the gun shop to open.  You could have written a letter to the editor or penned an Op/Ed expressing your disapproval and you would not have been sued.  Legislators tried to pass legislation that would allow localities to prohibit gun shops from opening and they weren't sued.  It is when you joined with 60 other people and actively tried to get the landlord to reverse course and breech the rental contract that had already been signed with the owner of NOVA Armory that you opened yourself to legal action.

Maybe Mr. Albert  now knows how firearm manufacturers and retailers felt about being sued by cities like New York for acts they had absolutely nothing to do with, before the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was passed.  The difference is those lawsuits were truly frivolous.  We'll see if the court believes this one has more merit.

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