On April 28, 2013, Kirsten Englund was driving up Highway 101 in Oregon, on the way to visit her son. A nature lover, she pulled over to a scenic overlook to view a nearby lighthouse. It was there that she was shot and killed by Jeffrey Boyce, a man who was suffering from severe delusions. Jeffrey Boyce then continued on his crime spree, kidnapping and carjacking on his way down to California, where he was eventually apprehended attempting to break into a house. Despite a long history of mental illness, a prior criminal record, and potential drug abuse, he had acquired three weapons through his mother, Diane Boyce, who was acting as a straw purchaser. A straw purchaser is someone who buys a gun on behalf of someone else.
According to the complaint, two of the firearms were purchased online via J&G Sales and shipped to a local Oregon gun store, World Pawn Exchange. The complaint alleges that the information on the invoice for one of the guns identified Jeffrey Boyce as the purchaser of the firearms, yet the dealer conducted the background check on his mother.
The Brady Center filed suit on behalf of Kirsten's estate against J&G Sales, World Pawn and Diane Boyce in January 2016. The suit alleges that J&G Sales and World Pawn illegally and negligently allowed Mr. Boyce's mother to straw purchase guns for him. In October 2016, Plaintiffs moved to file their first amended complaint and settled with Diane Boyce, dismissing her from the case in return for a $400,000 payment and her agreement to provide relevant documents and information. Also in October 2016, J&G Sales filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that it is immunized from liability because of the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The motion was argued on November 16, 2016.
A team of attorneys led by Linda Singer and Ray Sarola of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, along with Thomas D'Amore and Nicholas Kahl of the D'Amore Law Group in Oregon, are co-counsel for the victim's estate along with attorneys from the Brady Center.
Read the press release announcing filing of this case: Lawsuit Filed Against Oregon Dealer That Transferred Gun Used in Murder Through Straw Purchase.