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  • Negligence and Public Nuisance Against Gun Distributor: Mueller v. Acme Shooting Goods, LLC, et al.

Sommers Schwartz attorneys Matthew Turner and Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller filed a complaint for negligence, negligent entrustment, and public nuisance against Acme Shooting Goods, LLC (Acme), seeking to hold the gun dealer responsible for an illegal sale that contributed to the 2021 mass shooting on the Oxford High School campus.

On November 30, 2021, a 15-year-old Oxford High School student opened fire on his classmates, killing four and wounding several others in a matter of minutes. He used a Sig Sauer Model SP 2022 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that he paid for and that was purchased for him while he was in the store at Acme with his father.

Matthew and Mary Mueller bring this lawsuit as representatives of their 14-year-old son, who was injured in the shooting. As he raised his hand to protect his face, a bullet went through his hand and into his jaw. Although he survived, he has permanent physical impairments and significant psychological trauma.

A few days before the occurrence, the shooter and his father went to Acme Shooting Goods. According to the complaint, the teenager picked out the gun, gave his father money, and asked his father to purchase the weapon for him. Despite these indications that the cash transaction was a prohibited “straw man” purchase by the father for the son, Acme employees did nothing to prevent it.

The lawsuit alleges Acme had actual or constructive knowledge that the shooter’s father unlawfully purchased the firearm for his minor son in violation of state and federal law and failed to comply with the law or its duty of reasonable care. It claims Acme negligently ignored one or more indications that the sale was unlawful, should have reasonably foreseen the minor would have illegal access to the firearm and cause harm, and failed to take reasonable action to prevent the sale and subsequent harm from occurring.

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