A former plant manager of Bryco Arms bought the California gun maker for $510,000 in federal bankruptcy court yesterday. The Los Angeles Times says he outbid a teenager who was left a quadriplegic after being accidentally shot with a Bryco pistol a decade ago. Representatives of Brandon Maxfield, 17, wanted to buy the company – which they drove into bankruptcy with an award from a lawsuit – to ensure that the plant would never operate again. They offered $505,000, but could go no further when a man who had offered to pledge a “substantial portion” of the bid reached his limit. “I put up more than my house cost,” said Daniel Bennett, 52, of San Antonio who learned of Maxfield’s attempt to buy Bryco from a television news report. Bennett, who owns guns, was drawn to Maxfield’s cause because of the inexpensive “Saturday night specials” made by Bryco that law officers say are commonly used in crimes.
The winning bidder – Paul Jimenez of Chino – plans to restart the company under the name Jimenez Arms. Last year, an Alameda County jury ordered Bryco and other defendants to pay Maxfield $24 million after it found that the handgun Maxfield was shot with was defectively designed. Bryco was once a star performer in what critics called the Ring of Fire – a group of firearms manufacturers around Los Angeles with common owners.