Thursday, November 18, 2004

A Victory of Sorts

AP reports, via Yahoo! News:
The Illinois Supreme Court threw out two lawsuits accusing gunmakers of knowingly letting weapons fall into the hands of gang members and other criminals, ruling Thursday that the manufacturers cannot legally be blamed for street violence.

Both rulings were unanimous, but five of the seven justices were so disturbed by allegations raised in the case that they wrote a separate opinion urging the Legislature to create tougher gun regulations....

Chicago's lawsuit cited a sting in which undercover officers bought guns at suburban shops even after plainly telling the sellers that they were gang members, buying them for gang members, or taking them to Chicago, where handguns are banned.

"Allegations about defendants' conduct, if true, suggest that defendants were not only aware that their products were used by third parties for criminal acts, but the defendants affirmatively sought to increase their profit by pandering to that market," the five justices said in their concurring, separate opinion...
Okay, gun manufacturers have no liability for crimes committed with guns. That's the good news.

But why can't gun sellers be charged with criminal conduct for knowingly selling guns that will be used for criminal purposes? Seems simple to me. What's the catch?