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Gun dealer backs out of NYC trial over gun sales

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  • slim jim

    Official News Guy
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    Mar 18, 2008
    Gun dealer backs out of NYC trial over gun sales

    NEW YORK -- A Georgia gun dealer accused in a federal lawsuit of selling weapons that ended up in the hands of New York City criminals has opted not to go to trial this week.
    A lawyer for Jay Wallace, the owner of Adventure Sports Inc. in Smyrna, Ga., said in court papers Monday that his client decided that a trial would be a waste of time and money. He also claimed that pretrial rulings against the defendant showed he couldn't get a fair trial.
    Opening arguments had been set for Tuesday in Brooklyn. City attorneys said that instead of a trial verdict, the judge entered a default judgment against Adventure Sports, which can be challenged in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
    Adventure Sports, "a small retail dealer with limited resources," has "chosen not to engage in the futile exercise of defending itself at a bench trial, and to appeal any default judgment that may be entered against it," wrote the defense attorney, John Renzulli.
    In a statement, Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the development "an important victory for New Yorkers - as good as a win at trial - and a validation of our innovative efforts to hold gun dealers accountable for following federal laws."
    City officials said they would ask the court to impose outside oversight of Adventure Sports' sales when the final details of the judgment are worked out at a later date.
    Adventure Sports was one of 27 out-of-state gun shop owners accused by the city in 2006 suit of selling weapons to people who peddled them to criminals. While most of the shops settled by agreeing to track sales more closely, Wallace rejected the deal and initially decided to go to trial.
    Authorities say they traced 21 illegal guns recovered in the city between 1996 and 2000 to Adventure Sports. To make their case, the city also sent undercover buyers with hidden video cameras to Wallace's shop and others to make simulated "straw purchases" in which one person submits to a background check for a gun for someone else.
    Wallace has called the case "ridiculous," and filed a $400 million countersuit accusing the mayor of libel.
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