Badger Guns

For starters, As you can see, I have a home-made image above(only because lawyers these days will sue over anything…). If you know what the animal is, and what is behind it, then you can guess what this will be about.

It has been and extremely long time since I have posted anything but the case against Badger Guns has ended my silence.

In the effort of providing full disclosure: I have been a customer of Badger Guns and Badger Outdoors in the past. I also need to inform you that I have not personally reviewed the trial or any of the evidence that was presented in the case. This article is strictly based on my past experience with Badger Guns, news reports on the trial, and my personal opinions about gun control.

If you are interested in shooting sports and you even the slightest bit Internet savvy then you have no doubt heard of that on October 13th, 2015, a Milwaukee jury awarded almost $6 Million to Milwaukee Police Officer Bryan Norberg and former officer Graham Kunisch.  The case has been highly publicized and will likely be appealed so any money that Norberg and Kunisch think they have coming will need to wait.

For those of you who are not familiar with the case, the two officers listed above won a civil trial in which a jury decided that Badger Guns was liable for selling a firearm in a straw sale that was later used to shoot those offices.  A straw sale is essentially purchasing a gun on behalf of someone else. In this case it appears that Jacob Collins, who was 21 at the time, purchased a gun and then gave it to Julius Burton, who was 18 at the time.

According to smartgunlaws.org, a licensed firearms dealer, which Badger Guns was, “may not sell or deliver a handgun…to any person the dealer has reasonable cause to believe is under age 21”.

A report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from 10/15/2015 stated that “Collins initially marked on a form that he was not the buyer but was allowed to change that”. The report also stated that Collins and Burton came to the store together and Burton even pointed out the gun that he wanted.  To me, those are the red flags that the jury most likely used as some the deciding factors.

The $6M award might seem like a blow to supporters of the 2nd Amendment, but I see it slightly different. I think it actually weakened the case of the anti-gun crowd. How so? The anti-gunners out there want more laws and stiffer laws. I think we have enough laws already, the just need to be enforced, like they did in this case.   If the case is appealed, which seems likely, and the officers come out on top, it will be a case where a dealer broke the law by illegally transferred a firearm, and was held responsible for it.  Gun control advocates, like Hillary Clinton, want to repeal laws like the PLCAA, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which was passed in 2005. This law essentially provides immunity for firearm dealers which is why Clinton and others will try to make the case that it protects the guilty.  In the Badger Guns case, even with the PLCAA in effect, they were found to be negligent by breaking 4 federal laws and transferring a gun in a straw sale. If you break the law there are consequences, and the owners of Badger Guns are dealing with them now.  If no laws were broken then the PCLAA would have protected Badger Guns and its owners.

It clearly seems like Badger Guns is being used as an example in this case. Maybe it is justified, maybe it isn’t.  Based on the verdict it certainly appears that laws were broken. If that is the case then I have no problems with the hammer being brought down on them because Illegal firearm deals give the whole industry a black eye. With all the recent campus shootings these days there is enough bad press about guns and we don’t need illegal firearm sales fueling the fire.

Badger Guns has changed names and owners over the years. Today they are known as Brew City Shooters Supply. They operate under a “Members Only” model if you wish to purchase a firearm. To become a member you must pass a proficiency evaluation and pay a yearly fee. I think that is a great direction to go in for a dealer that needs some extra help keeping the riffraff out of their store. I don’t necessarily like extra paperwork and extra fees but it won’t keep me out of the store if the pricing and service make up for. I definitely see it as a good step toward keeping problems to minimum because the criminal type probably won’t go through the hassle of obtaining a membership if they can drive a few miles to a different shop that doesn’t require it.