Here's a recap of what is going on with the 4 lawsuits against the BATF&E and their Demand Letter to report multiple rifle sales:
As we (should) know, The First lawsuit was filed by the NSSF in the Federal District of D.C. This, even though the NRA had reported that they were ready to file for J&G Sales, several days earlier.
J&G Sales was filed right after the NSSF suit and included Foothills Firearms as one of the plaintiffs (this actually caught J&G flatfooted, as they weren't told about this initially). This suit was also filed in D.C.
The ATF filed to relate the cases within a matter of days.
From the Docket
(the J&G Docket stops when the cases were consolidated), here's what happened (I left out a few of the minor "pole positioning" arguments):
- 08-15-2011 - Motion to relate 1:11-cv-01402-BAH (J&G Sales, LTD).
- 08-18-2011 - Order to Consolidate J&G SALES, LTD. et al v. MELSON with NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION, INC. v. MELSON.
- 08-22-2011 - Motion for Preliminary Injunction by plaintiff NSSF.
- 08-26-2011 - MPI by plaintiffs Foothills Firearms & J&G Sales.
- 09-02-2011 - MPI Denied.
- 09-12-2011 - Administrative record filed by ATF.
- 09-23-2011 - MSJ filed by ATF.
- 09-27-2011 - Motion to file Amicus Curiae by Brady Center. NSSF filed motion to stay MSJ in favor of expedited discovery.
- 09-28-2011 - Motion to stay proceedings, denied.
- 10-01-2011 - Motion in opposition to MSJ and cross-MSJ filed by Foothills Firearms and J&G Sales.
- 10-12-2011 - Cross-MSJ and opposition to defendants MSJ filed by NSSF.
- 10-21-2011 - Defendants reply to opposition and cross-MSJ's.
- 11-01-2011 - Plaintiffs file counter replies.
- 11-08-2011 - Defendants file surreply.
The MPI was denied mostly because judge decided that there was no irreparable harm, based on the facts that they (Foothills Firearms and J&G Sales) were already set up to report multiple handguns and that they waited to file the suit and waited some more to file the MPI.
The next lawsuit to be filed was also filed on 08-03-2011 in the Federal District of New Mexico by Ron Peterson Firearms (backed by the NRA).
This case has been placed on a stay, pending the outcome of being related to the NSSF case, since 10-05-2011. If the case is related, it will be transferred to D.C. and consolidated with NSSF and J&G Sales.
The final case (as of this writing), was filed on 08-05-2011 in the Federal District of Texas, Western District, by 10 Ring Precision.
The Judge in this case held a hearing on 12-22-2011 on the defendants motion to change venue or in the alternative, for a stay in the proceedings until the D.C. cases are decided.
Stephan Halbrook and Richard Gardiner, both NRA attorneys, are attorneys for 3 of these cases. The complaints for these 3 cases are virtually identical.
The NSSF has their own attorneys. Their complaint is different in scope, if not in requested remedy.
There is no doubt in my mind, that all 4 cases will be related, venue changed and the cases consolidated. The NRA will control the flow of these lawsuits.
This is a case of the NRA(-ILA) not fully considering the consequences of their own strategy. Tactically, this was a bad move. It places an extreme burden upon the NSSF to differentiate their (single) case from the 3 NRA cases.
It is my opinion that the NSSF is the better case, but will be overshadowed by the actions of the NRA. In the NRA's misguided effort(s) to find relevance in a postHeller/McDonald
world, I hope this case survives.