| ALBANY, N.Y.
ALBANY, N.Y. Oct 5 A Buffalo man who was shot
nearly a decade ago can sue the manufacturer, the distributor
and the dealer of the semi-automatic pistol used to shoot him, a
New York state appeals court ruled on Friday.
Attorneys for Daniel Williams, who was shot in 2003 when he
was in high school, argued that Ohio-based manufacturer
Beemiller and the distributor, MKS Supply, violated federal law
by knowingly supplying guns to irresponsible dealers.
The defendants said they cannot be sued because of the
federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a 2005 law
that shields firearm manufacturers and sellers from liability
for harm caused by the criminal misuse of their non-defective
A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, Fourth
Department, on Friday reversed a 2011 ruling that threw out the
case against the defendants - Beemiller, MKS Supply and gun
dealer Charles Brown, who sold the guns to James Bostic, a
Buffalo resident accused of running a trafficking scheme that
funneled guns into the black market in New York.
The decision reinstates the case.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which is
representing Williams, claims Bostic is a convicted felon and is
barred from purchasing guns, according to the ruling.
The center said Bostic traveled to Ohio, which does not
require a license to buy a gun, to procure a large numbers of
handguns, including the pistol used to shoot Williams, the
"Although the complaint does not specify the statutes
allegedly violated (by the defendants), it sufficiently alleges
facts supporting a finding that defendants knowingly violated
federal gun laws," Justice Erin Peradotto wrote for the court.
Jeffrey Malsch, a lawyer for MKS, said he is reviewing the
"We believe (the lower court's ruling) was a courageous and
legally correct decision, but the Fourth Department was
unwilling to follow his well reasoned opinion," he said.
"Whether we appeal or not, we are confident that ultimately the
facts will contradict the baseless allegations in the complaint
and the case will be dismissed."
Attorneys for Williams and the remaining defendants did not
immediately return requests for comment.