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Dealer who sold weapon used in killing to stop selling guns

The Associated Press//February 20, 2020

Dealer who sold weapon used in killing to stop selling guns

The Associated Press//February 20, 2020

A firearms dealer who sold a gun used in a deadly Kansas City shooting will stop selling guns as part of a settlement with the parents of the victim.

Green Tip Arms also agreed to surrender its federal firearms license to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the agreement that a Jackson County judge approved last week.

Alvino and Beverly Crawford filed the wrongful death lawsuit in June in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of their son, Alvino Dwight Crawford Jr. The suit alleged that Green Tip Arms had reason to be suspicious that a frequent customer, James Samuels, was an unlicensed gun dealer. One of the weapons was used to kill Crawford two months after it was purchased in 2016.

The lawsuit accused Jimenez Arms, the manufacturer of the gun, of aiding and abetting the gun trafficking ring. The lawsuit did not say how the weapon moved to Green Tip Arms. Jimenez Arms, which filed for bankruptcy this month, was not part of the settlement.

“Dwight’s life was precious and priceless, and Green Tips Arms fell short of a moral compass about the potential impact of its decisions,” Crawford’s parents said in a written statement. “To protect other families from experiencing the enduring pain of loss as we have, we hope this action conveys a message to other gun dealers who chose to conduct business irresponsibly and without regard for human life.”

Michael Brown, an attorney for Green Tip Arms, originally based in Missouri but now based in Arizona, declined to comment.

Lawyers with Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an umbrella group of gun control advocacy organizations funded by billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, helped to represent Crawford’s family.

Jerome Walker, 41, and Devon Davis, who was 16 at the time, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing. Prosecutors alleged that Walker struck Crawford with a baseball bat and, as Crawford stumbled away, Davis shot and killed him.

Samuels, a former fire captain who is accused of facilitating the sale of the gun used in Crawford’s killing, faces a June trial on charges that he knowingly supplied weapons to felons.

Joe Picerno, an attorney for Samuels, said his client has entered a not guilty plea and “denies that he did any wrongdoing or anything illegal.”

The settlement with Green Tip Arms was reached less than a month after Kansas City and Everyytown filed a lawsuit alleging that several businesses and individuals trafficked firearms in the region while willfully ignoring evidence that the guns were being sold illegally.

The lawsuit, which Everytown said was the first of its kind filed in 10 years, alleges that the gun trafficking created a public nuisance in Kansas City, which has one of the highest homicide rates in the U.S. That suit also named Jimenez Arms.

Joseph Roper, an attorney for Jimenez, didn’t immediately return a phone message.

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