Families Sue Gun Shop After Texas Church Shooting

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on December 19, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last month, Devin Kelley gunned down 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. At the time, we wondered whether the Air Force may be liable for the shooting, as it failed to report Kelley's court-martial for domestic violence to the National Criminal Information Center database, a conviction that would have barred him from purchasing the military-style rifle he used in the shooting.

This week, two families of victims slain in the shooting filed a lawsuit against the store that sold Kelley a Ruger AR-556, despite a "possibly disqualifying issue" tied to his permit to carry. The suit claims that, because he listed a Colorado address on his Firearms Transaction Record, "[t]he Ruger should have never been placed in Kelley's hands in Texas."

Gross Negligence

The lawsuit filed by family of victim Joann Ward and her children, came complete with photos and reads more like a dramatized version events than your standard legal pleading:

Just minutes into the morning church service, Joann, her four children, and the small congregation of First Baptist Church were under siege. Praise and worship songs which had filed the air were interrupted by rapid gunfire. The Church was being attacked.
Bullets sprayed through the wooden walls of the tiny church, shattering windows and puncturing holes in the wooden floors. Startled and confused, the congregants soon saw a man dressed in black tactical gear storm in, cursing "Everybody is gonna f***king die!"

According to the suit, the fact that he reported a Colorado Springs, Colorado address on the federal Form 4473 "should have disqualified Kelley from ever purchasing the assault rifle." And this is allegedly not the first rime Academy Sporting Goods has failed to follow state laws on gun sales.

You can read the full lawsuit below:

Chris Ward, et al., v. Academy Sports & Outdoors by FindLaw on Scribd

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