Taking “bad apples” to court and winning | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Taking “bad apples” to court and winning

For years, the Brady Center has filed lawsuits to hold “bad apple” gun dealers accountable for their irresponsible business practices. With over 50 cases, Brady has successfully reformed, held accountable, or shut down gun dealers in states across the country, including Mississippi, Washington, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Utah and Texas.

Brady Center lawsuits have stopped gun dealers from selling guns to straw purchasers and traffickers, and sent a clear message to the gun industry: If you irresponsibly supply guns to criminals, you will pay or be shut down.

A few of our victories include:

Oliver v. Lou's Loans: In 2004, the Brady Center brought a lawsuit on behalf of the parents of 14-year-old Anthony Oliver Jr., who was shot and killed with an illegal gun sold on the street for $50. The suit alleged that Lou’s Loan, then the top supplier of crime guns in Philadelphia, negligently sold multiple guns to a gun trafficker, including the one that was used in the shooting. Lou’s had been a frequent supplier of weapons to traffickers, straw purchasers and convicted felons. Our victory led ATF to revoke Lou's license, shutting it down. 

Johnson v. Bull's Eye Shooter Supply: Two men terrorized the Washington, DC, metro area in 2002 with a series of sniper-style shootings that killed ten and wounded three others. The shooters were armed with an assault riffle from Bull's Eye Shooter Supply, a notorious “bad apple” gun dealer. Hundreds of guns had left Bull’s Eye’s inventory without any record of legal sale or federally required Brady background check, including the snipers’ gun. The Brady Center sued Bull’s Eye and Bushmaster (the manufacturer of the assault rifle) on behalf of the victims, yielding a $2.5 million settlement - the first time a gun manufacturer paid damages for its role in criminal gun violence. Our victory led ATF to shut down Bull's Eye