In a surprise turn of events on the eve of opening arguments, New York City prevailed yesterday in its public nuisance lawsuit against Georgia gun dealer Adventure Outdoors when federal Judge Jack Weinstein granted the city’s motion for a default judgment, reports the New York Law Journal. The ruling gave the city a victory in the most high-profile case in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s fight against the dealers of guns used in crimes within the city. Of the 27 original defendants, three have now defaulted, 20 settled, three won dismissal and one is scheduled to go to trial in September.
Adventure Outdoors’ attorney cited the expense of defending a case that, after Weinstein’s decision two weeks ago ordering a bench trial, had become unwinnable. The small dealer “cannot afford to participate in a four-week bench trial, the result of which is a foregone conclusion,” said defense attorney John Renzulli. Weinstein ordered the two sides to appear before a magistrate to hammer out the specifics of the default judgment. In other settlements, gun sellers agreed to allow a special master oversee their operations, to refrain from selling firearms to either straw purchasers or people posing as straw purchasers and to subject themselves to additional penalties if found in violation of state or federal laws.