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Old September 2, 2019, 02:19 PM   #1
MTT TL
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Victims and Families of Dylan Roof Cleared to Sue Fed

https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/31/us/dy...uit/index.html

Quote:
The families of the nine people slaughtered in a South Carolina church in 2015 can sue the US government for negligence, an appeals court has ruled.
The survivors want to hold the government accountable that shooter Dylann Roof was able to buy the gun he used to open fire in an African-American church.
As normal for nearly all mass shooters Dylan Roof had a drug problem. He had been arrested for this but the information was not added to NCIS, allowing him to clear through a weapon purchase for the gun he used to shoot up the church in South Carolina.

The concept that the Federal government can be held accountable for mistakes that contribute to the criminal actions of third parties is an interesting one. I don't think this is going to make it all the way through the courts.
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Old September 2, 2019, 02:52 PM   #2
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The article is (as usual) woefully incomplete. The NICS system relies on input from parties/entities outside of the FBI's control. The article doesn't go into what/where the [alleged] lapses in the NICS system were with regard to Dylan Roof. Did state authorities properly report him to NICS and the FBI failed to enter the data in the system, or are the families suing the federal government for not acting on information they didn't have?
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Old September 2, 2019, 02:55 PM   #3
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I'm surprised it got past sovereign immunity.
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Old September 2, 2019, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'm surprised it got past sovereign immunity.
I don't think that fight is over. Because if this makes it through the courts with a jury award it could open the flood gates for lots and lots of wrongful death suits.

Quote:
The article is (as usual) woefully incomplete.
I can't find a copy of the filing. /that would be much more instructive. But the case is very interesting.
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Old September 2, 2019, 07:07 PM   #5
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No, the fight isn't over. I'll have to go take a peek, but my guess is that this is just the Motion to Dismiss stage and that Summary Judgment has yet to arrive.
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Old September 3, 2019, 08:26 AM   #6
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Here's the 4th Circuit ruling. The plaintiffs are represented by the Brady Center, which is odd for two reasons.

First off, they've been bringing (and losing) nuisance lawsuits against gun manufacturers and dealers for the last few years in an attempt to weaken the PLCAA. When they lose, the plaintiffs are left holding the bag for legal fees. Their attorneys should know better, and I'm surprised they haven't been censured for this.

Second, the "loophole" that allows a dealer to release a firearm if he hasn't received a response within three business days was their idea in the first place. They wrote the Brady Act, and they supported it with that provision plainly inserted. I find it ironic that they're suing over compliance with their own law.

The lawsuit notes that the NICS examiner found something fishy in Roof's record, but for some reason she had to do the legwork to find the relevant documentation. That's not how it's supposed to work. The onus is on local authorities, who failed to report it to NICS in the first place.
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Old September 3, 2019, 09:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Here's the 4th Circuit ruling.
The decision is phrased in a confusing way. The Court of Appeals notes that the federal government isn't immune under " the Federal Tort Claims Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2680(a). ..[and]... the Brady Act’s immunity provision, 18 U.S.C. § 922(t)(6)."

The government is immune from suit for execution of inherently governmental functions unless it specifically waived immunity and consented to be sued. The Court of Appeals isn't holding that the government fails to set forth an immunity claim under those codes sections. Rather, those codes sections include a framework that explicitly waives immunity and consents to suit.

I don't see how this works out for the plaintiffs. If an intervening criminal act of a third party doesn't insulate the government from liability, we can stop complaining about the surplus of lawyers.

The first part of the code is an exception to a jurisdictional part of the code,

Quote:
(a)Any claim based upon an act or omission of an employee of the Government, exercising due care, in the execution of a statute or regulation, whether or not such statute or regulation be valid, or based upon the exercise or performance or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a federal agency or an employee of the Government, whether or not the discretion involved be abused.
The second just looks as if it doesn't apply.

Quote:
(6)Neither a local government nor an employee of the Federal Government or of any State or local government, responsible for providing information to the national instant criminal background check system shall be liable in an action at law for damages—
(A)for failure to prevent the sale or transfer of a firearm to a person whose receipt or possession of the firearm is unlawful under this section; or
(B)for preventing such a sale or transfer to a person who may lawfully receive or possess a firearm.

Last edited by zukiphile; September 3, 2019 at 10:14 AM.
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Old September 3, 2019, 11:04 AM   #8
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Second, the "loophole" that allows a dealer to release a firearm if he hasn't received a response within three business days was their idea in the first place. They wrote the Brady Act, and they supported it with that provision plainly inserted. I find it ironic that they're suing over compliance with their own law.
True enough but that was 26 years ago. I imagine there are very few people around that organization that still feel that way. A Brady Bill approved today would get rid of that provision, eliminate private party sales and make semi-autos illegal.
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