The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two wounded police officers against a Milwaukee-area gun dealer it labels as "the No. 1 seller of crime guns" in the nation.
The suit was filed on behalf of Milwaukee police officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch, who were shot and seriously injured with a gun sold by Badger Guns of West Milwaukee, Wisc.
The complaint, filed in Circuit Court of Milwaukee County, alleges that Badger Guns sold the gun used to shoot the officers in an illegal "straw sale," reports WSAW.
A straw sale, as defined under the Protection of Lawful Commerce and Arms Act (PLCAA), is when a person eligible to purchase a gun knowingly buys it for someone who is not eligible.
Chris Conte, the National Rifle Association's legislative counsel, told POLICE Magazine the Brady Center is "using the officers as a front" by filing the suit.
"They have to prove the person selling the gun knew they were willingly trying to turn over a gun to a criminal enterprise," Conte said. "What they are doing is gaming the system to try to bankrupt the Federal Firearms License holder."
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has not filed criminal charges against the gun dealer, according to Conte.
According to the complaint, Officers Norberg and Kunisch were shot with a Taurus PT140 Pro .40-caliber handgun sold by Badger Guns in a "patently illegal transaction."
The complaint details that in May 2009, Julius C. Burton, 18, who could not legally buy a gun, picked out the handgun he wanted to buy while in the store with Jacob D. Collins, who then purchased the gun for Burton.
The teen shot the officers at point-blank range in the face, after they stopped him for riding his bike on a sidewalk in violation of a city ordinance. The officers returned to duty in late Septemeber, reports WTMJ.com.
This is the second case filed by the Brady Center this year against Badger Guns on behalf of officers. On Oct. 28, the gun-control advocacy group sued the dealer on behalf of wounded Milwaukee Police officers Alejandro Arce and Jose Lopez III.