The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for victims of the 1999 shooting rampage by a white supremacist to sue the companies that made his guns, according to the Los Angeles Times. The justices let stand a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that said the mother of a Los Angeles letter carrier killed by Buford Furrow Jr. and the families of several children wounded by him could sue Glock Inc. and China North Industries.
The companies and eight dissenting judges had argued that the appeals court’s decision would open the way for manufacturers to be hauled into court simply because their products had been used improperly. The dissenters said the ruling’s impact could be “staggering.” On Aug. 10, 1999, Furrow – a follower of the racist Aryan Nations – sprayed a Jewish community center with gunfire, wounding five people. Later that day, he killed letter carrier Joseph S. Ileto. because he looked “Asian or Latino” and worked for the government.