Christopher Renzulli appeared before Indiana’s highest court — the Supreme Court of Indiana – on Wednesday on behalf of an Indiana firearms retailer and its owner concerning the application of an Indiana Statute, I.C. 34-12-3-3, that prohibits civil lawsuits for claims against a firearms seller for “recovery of damages resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm or ammunition for a firearm by a third party.” The hotly contested and highly publicized lawsuit alleges that the firearms retailer and its owner are liable for selling a firearm to a straw purchaser that was later used in the criminal shooting of the plaintiff. The plaintiff is represented by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. We argued that the plain language of the statute immunizes the firearm sellers from liability because plaintiff’s damages were the result of “the criminal … misuse of a firearm … by a third party.” The interpretation of the statute was an issue of first impression for the Indiana Supreme Court and the decision will impact firearm sellers statewide. The oral argument was widely reported in the news and media, including NBC in Indianapolis (video), The Indianapolis Star (USA Today Network), Indianapolis Business Journal and WFYI Indianapolis.
The complete oral argument can be accessed at this link.