Allowed Crack Addict With Criminal Record To Take Guns
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (Press Release)
House of Representatives Slated to Vote Wednesday on Bill to Ban Suit Against Danny Guzman on the streets of Worcester, MA on December 24, 1999.
Daniel R. Vice, Staff Attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, who argued at the hearing on Kahr’s motion to dismiss the case said, “The Kahr Arms firearms factory was a jackpot for criminals. Kahr Arms allowed employees like Mark Cronin, a crack addict with a long criminal history, to easily remove guns from its unsecured factory. Because of this gun maker’s reckless failure to install even the most basic of security measures, its guns were routinely funneled to dangerous felons.”
Mr. Vice added, “This court ruling sends a clear signal to gun makers that they will pay the consequences if they run their manufacturing plants without proper security and with drug-addicted criminals as employees.” Following similar rulings by courts in West Virginia and New Jersey in the past month, the decision is the third recent defeat for the industry in cases seeking to hold the gun industry responsible for negligent and reckless conduct.
The ruling was handed down only days after the House Judiciary Committee approved an NRA-backed bill (H.R. 1036) to give the gun industry unprecedented immunity from lawsuits brought by gun violence victims. “The gun lobby is seeking in Congress an outrageous and unjust exemption from the basic rules of corporate accountability,” stated Mr. Vice. The bill seeks the immediate dismissal of suits like those brought by gun violence victim Danny Guzman in all courts throughout the country. No other industry has similar immunity from negligence and nuisance law. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday of this week.
On December 24, 1999, Danny Guzman was shot and killed in front of a Worcester, MA nightclub in the 800 block of Main Street. Six days later, police recovered the murder weapon, a 9 mm Kahr Arms handgun without a serial number, behind an apartment building, near where Mr. Guzman was shot. The loaded gun had been found by a four-year-old child who lives in the building.
Worcester police and federal ATF agents raided the Kahr Arms factory in March 2000 after reports of large numbers of missing guns. Police discovered that weapons were missing from the facility even though Kahr’s inventory records indicated they were still present. Worcester Police Captain Paul F. Campbell classified the record keeping at the facility as so “shoddy” that it was possible to remove weapons without detection.
Police determined that Kahr’s drug-addict employee Mark Cronin had stolen guns from the plant even before the weapons had serial numbers stamped on them, and resold them to criminals in exchange for money and drugs. In March 2000, police arrested Cronin, who pled guilty to the gun thefts. The investigation also led to the arrest of Kahr employee Scott R. Anderson, who pled guilty to stealing from Kahr Arms a handgun and weapons parts.
Kahr Arms’ CEO is Kook Jin Moon, son of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church.
The lawsuit was filed on August 15, 2002 in Worcester, MA Superior Court. The suit names as defendants Kahr Arms and its corporate parents as well as former employee Mark Cronin, gun trafficker Robert Jachimczyk and the suspected shooter, Edwin Novas. Brady Center attorneys are co-counsel representing the family of Danny Guzman, along with Worcester, MA trial attorney Hector E. Piñeiro.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
United With the Million Mom March
1225 Eye Street
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 289-5785