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Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Brady Gun Shop Law Suit Sets Dangerous Precedent

VSSA's Executive Director sent this article to me earlier today about a settlement in a lawsuit filed by the Brady Campaign against a gun shop in Missouri that sold a firearm to a woman whose mother had warned should not be allowed to buy a gun.  Jazz Shaw writes while the situation is a tragedy,  it's a dangerous precedent that may create a template for future suits:
As with most liberal causes, the Brady campaign is seeking to exploit the tragedy experienced by this family for their own benefit. We see the same tactics used in the debate over illegal immigration, where liberal groups find the most heart wrenching example of a child being separated from their parent in an attempt to pluck at the sensitivities of voters. The case of Ms. Weathers is indeed a tragedy which should be a call for action, but not the sort which the Brady campaign is seeking.

Something went desperately wrong in Janet Delana’s family, but it wasn’t the fault of the gun shop. As the article documents, Colby Sue was not some marginal character with a few questionable incidents on her record. She had, by the family’s own admission, been in and out of mental hospitals on numerous occasions and demonstrated worrisome if not outright dangerous behavior. This is clearly not the sort of person who should be purchasing firearms. But whose responsibility is it? Colby Sue had people who cared about her and were clearly worried about both her safety and the safety of others. How is it then that this young woman was not brought before a court and adjudicated as mentally unbalanced? Even more to the point, she obviously was not receiving all the treatment that she needed to deal with her psychosis.
Shaw links back to the Washington Post article that tells the complete story of what unfolded leading up to this tragedy.  The gun shop, likely on the advice of their attorney and their liability insurance carrier settled the suit before it went to trial.  It is one of the rare successes for Brady in such cases.   Shaw points out what the real problem was in this case:
The case of Colby Sue Weathers does highlight a problem, but it’s the fact that mental health services in this country are still woefully inadequate and the families of mentally ill persons need access to a lot more education and resources when dealing with their afflicted family members. The result of this lawsuit will unfortunately open the door to all sorts of additional mischief on the part of gun grabbers. Using this case as precedent, all they need to do is find out when someone is thinking of making a gun purchase and begin calling around to gun shops and making false claims that the person is “crazy.” This will put business owners in a quandary where they have no good options left while doing nothing to help the mentally ill who are truly in need of assistance.

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