The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence will sue the online gun dealers who sold weapons to Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes, according to a local news report.
“The lawsuit alleges that the websites negligently supplied Holmes with the arsenal he used to kill 12 people and wound at least 58 others by failing to use any screening mechanism to determine his identity or intent for the products,” the Brady Center said in a press release.
The official announcement will come on Tuesday, according to Denver’s Fox 31, which also reported that the suit is being filed on behalf of Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter Jessica Ghawi, was killed in the July 2012 massacre.
Holmes has admitted to opening fire on a theater full of people at the opening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
The lawsuit is the part of the first salvo in the group’s “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” campaign that it announced in early September during a press event in Chicago. It hopes to shut down gun dealers “that turn a blind eye to gun traffickers, straw purchasers and criminals, and flood our nation’s streets with guns used in crimes,” according to the group’s press release.
It filed a lawsuit against a Philadelphia gun deal who sold a firearm to a straw purchaser and which was later used in a shooting that killed a police officer.
“Brady Center lawsuits have stopped gun dealers from selling guns to straw purchasers and traffickers, forced bad actors out of business, and sent a resounding message to the gun industry that it must clean up its act,” said Jonathan Lowy, the director of the center’s legal action project.
The lawsuit will name Lucky Gunner LLC (which operates several online retail sites for ammunition), according to Fox 31, a Tennessee-based online retailer from which Holmes bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition — 3,000 each of handgun ammo and .223 rifle ammo, as well as 300 shotgun shells. The rounds were purchased over several weeks and, in total, weighed more than 170 lbs., according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Holmes faces 166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes. He has pled not guilty by reason of insanity.
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