The assets of Bryco Arms, one of the nation’s most controversial gun makers, are scheduled to be auctioned today in a Florida bankruptcy proceeding. The only bid so far–$150,000–is from Bryco’s former plant manager, who intends to revive the dormant business, which stamped out millions of inexpensive guns known as Saturday night specials, reports the Los Angeles Times.
But a last-minute bid may come from an unlikely source: the legal team representing Brandon Maxfield, a California teenager who was left a quadriplegic at age 7 in 1994 after being accidentally shot with a Bryco pistol. A lawyer who represents Maxfield has approached antigun groups and philanthropists with the prospect of buying Bryco through an Internet campaign called Brandon’s Arms. The lawyer said the firm would be closed for good. Maxfield was shot by a baby sitter who was trying to unload the .38-caliber weapon. Because of the gun’s design, the sitter had to disengage the safety to unload. A jury last year awarded Maxfield nearly $51 million in compensatory damages. Bryco and its distributor were accountable for $24 million, the largest award in a gun-related product liability case. Bryco filed for bankruptcy protection, which forestalled payment to Maxfield and shielded the firm from potential judgments in more than 20 pending lawsuits.