NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

A City Trafficking In Guns Sues Gun Makers And Sellers

February 2, 1999

The city of New Orleans is suing everyone from pawn shops to trade associations for encouraging the sale of "unsafe" guns. However the city's own police department -- with the approval of Mayor Marc Morial -- redistributed thousands of guns last year, says Matt Labash in the Weekly Standard.

In February 1998, the New Orleans police department traded in 715 Beretta 92 Series pistols for 1,700 Glock pistols. To complete the transaction, the police also agreed to trade guns confiscated from criminals in a three-way transaction with a gun distributor who supplies police departments and also sells guns commercially.

  • According to Glock officials and records, the city traded over 8,000 confiscated guns, at least 40 percent of which were semi-automatics.
  • Nearly all of the guns traded are "unsafe" by the definition of the city's lawsuit, since they lack trigger locks or other devices that might prevent their being fired by unauthorized users.
  • Over half of the guns traded were redistributed commercially -- many in other states.

Some of the local pawn shops the city of New Orleans is suing sold fewer than 50 guns, reports Labash.

Source: Matt Labash, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," Weekly Standard, February 1, 1999.


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