Suicidal IL Woman Buys Ammunition Without FOID Card--Husband Sues


PDA






FCFC
August 8, 2008, 09:42 PM
Man, it's tough workin' retail...




Wife shot herself with Wal-Mart ammunition

By Nishi Gupta
Monday, June 02, 2008


PEORIA -- A Peoria man is taking on Wal-Mart saying the lack of an employee's training led to the death of his wife.

Mark Johnson says his wife Candace bought bullets from the Peoria Wal-Mart on Allen Road in January, then went home and shot herself.

Now, we've learned he's suing the company.

Mark Johnson is a former Marine, and says he had a gun in the house, but no bullets.

Johnson's attorney Ralph Davis says Candace did not have a firearms owners identification or FOID card, and therefore, should not have been sold the ammunition.

The Peoria County State's Attorney's office filed criminal charges against Wal-Mart clerk Christy Blake for selling the ammunition, but later dropped the charges.

We spoke with Blake, who after being suspended, is back to work at Wal-Mart.

She had no comment.

Attorney Ralph Davis says this case goes beyond the clerk and that Wal-Mart should be held responsible.

"She had been a mental patient," said Davis. "In the state of Illinois, they're not allowed to get firearm ammunition or firearms, and that's for the purpose of protecting them and society at large. So that's why the lawsuit is filed. They (Wal-Mart) dropped the ball unfortunately there's a dead person."

HOI 19 News obtained a copy of the police report, where a manager confirms Blake had not received training for ammunition sales, which is store policy.

Wal-Mart has 60 days to file a response to Johnson's lawsuit.

As of Monday afternoon, a call seeking comment from the company was not returned.

The lawsuit seeks damages over $75,000.
http://www.hoinews.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=141648

If you enjoyed reading about "Suicidal IL Woman Buys Ammunition Without FOID Card--Husband Sues" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
crushbup
August 8, 2008, 09:59 PM
If she was enough of a danger to herself and others, why was she allowed to walk around by herself? The logic of this lawsuit escapes me. I understand the law, but seriously this is too much.

Rustynuts
August 8, 2008, 09:59 PM
Walmart will probably win the case AND stop selling ammo in Illinois.

30 cal slob
August 8, 2008, 10:01 PM
um, so why didn't the guy lock up his gun knowing his wife was a little cuckoo?

tigre
August 8, 2008, 10:03 PM
um, so why didn't the guy lock up his gun knowing his wife was a little cuckoo?
He entrusted her life to a clerk at Wal-Mart?

jaholder1971
August 8, 2008, 10:08 PM
Ah, the old "Courtney Love" defense.

Spouse is suicidal, left all alone with guns in house. Imagine their surprise when they get home and their spouse has painted the bathroom with their own brains!

Zoogster
August 8, 2008, 10:13 PM
Huh, what? Is this America?

Oh no they need special government licenses to purchase ammo in that place, so I know it is a story about another foriegn nation.

Sounds like something you expect on the BBC.

tigre
August 8, 2008, 10:22 PM
I didn't know you had to have a license for ammo anywhere, either. I had no idea how restrictive some states' gun laws were before I started reading posts here. It is kind of disorienting sometimes.

stevemis
August 8, 2008, 10:29 PM
I'm not sure where I stand on this issue. I think we can all agree the requirement to have a license to purchase ammo is insane. Maybe a multi-million dollar judgment against WalMart would draw attention to how silly the law really is. In a state where licenses aren't required, WalMart would have a slam dunk dismissal.

Perhaps WalMart would challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Unfortunately, I suspect WalMart will lose or settle and will re-evaluate ammunition sales... and the stupid law will go unchallenged.

Someone bent on suicide has many options, guns included. Off the top of my head... hanging, poison, sleeping pills, knives, motor vehicles (tree or tailpipe)... If his loony wife wanted to whack herself, lack of ammunition wouldn't be much of a problem.

Zoogster
August 8, 2008, 10:47 PM
I didn't know you had to have a license for ammo anywhere, either. I had no idea how restrictive some states' gun laws were before I started reading posts here. It is kind of disorienting sometimes.
Oh I knew, I was just injecting some grounded perspective into the issue. MA and NJ are not much better.

When people forget they are Americans and such things are allowed these types of situations are one of the results.

jonmerritt
August 8, 2008, 10:51 PM
Hmm Your wife is sucidal, and you keep a gun in the house? ARE YOU FREAKING STUPID?!?!?!?!

Eightball
August 8, 2008, 11:02 PM
Your wife is sucidal, and you keep a [freely accessible] gun in the house? ARE YOU FREAKING STUPID?!?!?!?!Fixed it for you.

Blue .45
August 8, 2008, 11:19 PM
Is it legal for a person, who shares a place of residence with a mentally ill person, to possess a firearm? I checked the Illinois State Police website, but could not find an answer.

scout26
August 9, 2008, 02:30 AM
Great, just freaking great. Because this guy couldn't lock up his guns, I'm not going to be able to buy ammo at Wal-mart. We need more stores to carry firearms and ammo, not fewer....

IDIOT.

Tyris
August 9, 2008, 02:38 AM
Hmm Your wife is sucidal, and you keep a gun in the house? ARE YOU FREAKING STUPID?!?!?!?!

Maybe he didnt like his wife. :evil:

-T

memphisjim
August 9, 2008, 02:40 AM
so you need some card besides a state issued id saying you are 18+ to buy ammo?

Treo
August 9, 2008, 03:35 AM
Now guys we have to be kinder & gentler we can't call a whack-job a whack-job she's a mentally distressed person.

Small prediction if this guy wins the lawsuit WM will quit selling ammunition AND the antis will try suits like this all over the country.

I also have wonder if this guy thinks WM is really responsible for his nut job of a wife's suicide why is he only suing for 75k?

SHOOT1SAM
August 9, 2008, 08:41 AM
Treo I also have wonder if this guy thinks WM is really responsible for his nut job of a wife's suicide why is he only suing for 75k?


That was one of my first thoughts too.

I wonder if the clerk had had her "ammunition sales training", if the focus of the blame would remain on her. Of course, SHE'S not being sued, because she ain't got the 75 Large to pay.

In a perfect world, a judge would dismiss this case with the utmost, extreme prejudice.

In a near-perfect world Wal-Mart would fight this to the very end.

In the real world, it will be much cheaper for Wal-mart to just pay the $75K and be done with this.

Sam

jad0110
August 9, 2008, 08:51 AM
Treo I also have wonder if this guy thinks WM is really responsible for his nut job of a wife's suicide why is he only suing for 75k?

Probably because he figures that if he sues for too much, Wal-Mart will probably fight, win, and he won't see a dime. For $75k, WM is more likely to settle out of court to avoid the legal expenses, and then we'll have a precedence for the future :fire: .

So here's for hoping that WM fights it, but for such a small $$$, I fear they'll roll over and play dead.

novaDAK
August 9, 2008, 08:59 AM
yeah, because we know that using a gun is the only way to commit suicide...and because Wal-mart sold the ammo they're responsible...:rolleyes:

leadcounsel
August 9, 2008, 09:19 AM
If she was a danger why was she allowed access to the gun - or steak knives or rope for that matter.

If she was motivated enough to GO BUY AMMO, doesn't he think she would have come up with some other way to kill herself.

Walmart cannot possibly be responsible in ANY WAY for this tragedy. He's just digging for either 1) someone else to blame or 2) easy deep pocket money.

I'm ashamed this man was once in the US military. Doesn't he know that this lawsuit will further fuel the anti-2nd Amendment fires which errode the US Constitution he pledged to protect?

SCKimberFan
August 9, 2008, 09:24 AM
What kind of attonery is he? Only $25K (his cut), but hey, he took on Wally and won!

I have another question - Who keeps a gun at home, but no ammo?

fearless leader
August 9, 2008, 09:25 AM
I think the larger issue from the improper ammunition sale, is why did this genious leave a unsecured firearm in easy access of a mental patient?

Would he sue Chicago Cutlery if he left knives out for his derranged wife and she killed herself with them?

I could be wrong, but IMHO, I think a jury would find he shared responsibility for her demise.

jgorniak
August 9, 2008, 09:58 AM
Just playing devil's advocate here...

Substitute the unbalanced woman with a high school senior, and the ammo with a 12-pack of Bud. The teen gets killed driving drunk, and parents sue WallyWorld for not checking the kid's ID.

The kid didn't try to kill himself, while the woman obviously did. Isn't there some culpability on the part of the seller for not doing an ID check?

Fisherman_48768
August 9, 2008, 10:48 AM
Female suicide with a firearm is rare, they tend to use less destructive means. Makes me wonder if further information needs to be looked at.

Archer1945
August 9, 2008, 12:13 PM
Fisherman might just be on to something.

If you are an Illinois resident you need a FOID (Firearms Owner Identification Card) to even be able to look at a gun, or have one in your house. The first thing a clerk working with firearms or ammo is supposed to do is ask to see your FOID card, if an IL resident, or your driver's license if a non-resident. I know this very well because as a MO resident I do most of my shooting in IL. The best stocked gun shop/range in the St Louis area is over in Belleville, about a 45 minute trip from my house in North St Louis County.

Mt Shooter
August 9, 2008, 12:49 PM
I don't mean to steal the thread or sound too ignorant, but whats a FOID card. Do you have to have one for each firearm that you own?

dakuda
August 9, 2008, 01:08 PM
FOID info: http://www.isp.state.il.us/foid/

You only need one card, not one for each firearm.

Derek Zeanah
August 9, 2008, 01:08 PM
Folks, let's not disparage the people involved in this news story. Beyond the fact that we don't know anything about this situation, the "high road" way to have this discussion is to assume some of the parties involved may step in some day.

Do we really want to be calling this woman a "whack job?" Do you know for sure her suicidal thoughts aren't a side-effect of prescription meds she was on? Do we know it was a suicide at all? If it's something we don't expect, do you want to have to justify your comments to a relative once they pop in?

We're talking about a tragic situation that affected real people here, not some hypothetical. Let's try and be a bit sensitive to it.

hksw
August 9, 2008, 01:10 PM
Mark Johnson should be suing himself for provideing access to a firearms to his wife, a mentally unstable individual. Ammo can't shoot by itself. If the wife had visited a friend who had a firearm that was easily accessible and commited the act with it, would Mr. Johnson have sued the friend?

SCKimberFan
August 9, 2008, 01:55 PM
^ Probably.

MGshaggy
August 9, 2008, 02:23 PM
Treo I also have wonder if this guy thinks WM is really responsible for his nut job of a wife's suicide why is he only suing for 75k

Requirement for diversity jurisdiction in federal court; you can be awarded more, but to get jurisdiction you have to allege damages in excess of $75k.

Soybomb
August 9, 2008, 02:33 PM
It certainly appears someone is taking their own personal tragedy (that they actually have some responsibility in) and trying to profit from it. Hopefully his negligence and greed won't effect the ability of everyone else to get affordable accessible ammo.

mp510
August 9, 2008, 03:14 PM
Wal-Mart should not have given the ammo keys to an untrained employee. Between haveing an untrained employee engaged in ammo selling, and illegally selling her ammo, wal-mart should pay. The husband also should bear some liability for leaving a firearm accessible to her, BUT the gun alone would not have done squat to her without the ammo, which would not have been available to her had a clerk Wal-Mart did not properly trained illegally sold her ammo.

Gibbles
August 9, 2008, 03:37 PM
I believe it to be on the husband, but the law of the land is that they should have checked for that FOID card. I think the whole concept of the FOID card is a joke, and it should be against the law to even require one, but it is law in that state.

I think the husband should have locked the gun up. :rolleyes:

papajohn
August 9, 2008, 03:48 PM
If the husband ASSUMED she couldn't get ammo because of a lack of a FOID card, did he even consider the fact that had she driven to any of the surrounding states, it wouldn't have been a factor? In fact, if the woman had an out-of-state ID, she could have bought ammo in Illinois, regardless.

When I first moved to Illinois (a serious mistake long since corrected), I could buy ammunition just by showing my Missouri DL. My girlfriend, who had lived there all her life, couldn't buy a single round of 22 ammo without a FOID card.

Thank heaven for politicians, for making such a foolproof system!

I don't think Wal-Mart owes this guy a cent, and I am NOT a WalMart fan!

Papajohn

ants
August 9, 2008, 03:50 PM
Like Papajohn says, we're pretending that she could not leave Illinois to purchase ammunition. Sure, a FOID card is required in Illinois. It would only take her an hour or less to buy the ammunition in a neighboring state, and everyone knows that.

No, the lawsuit is not about principle, nor about wrongdoing. It's not about FOID. It's not about Illinois. It's not about her mental condition.

It's all about money. The plaintiff's lawyer knows full well that a trial is costly, but an undisclosed settlement gets him just as much fee and is much less risky. Plus, the lawyer gets to set up a trust to receive the settlement (with himself as administrator) and collect his contingency from the trust, then charge his expenses to the trust, charge the cost of administering the trust itself, and finally deliver the remaining few thousand dollars to the loser - er, I mean the winner - of the settlement.

thegoodfight
August 9, 2008, 03:51 PM
this story is so old...well...maybe cause i live in peoria. anyway...takes more than an hour to get to any border from peoria, btw.

Guns and more
August 9, 2008, 04:18 PM
If she was enough of a danger to herself and others, why was she allowed to walk around by herself?
ACLU
Walmart will probably win the case
They'll settle. Hell, the guy is only asking 75K, cheaper than a trial.
says he had a gun in the house, but no bullets.
I guess guns don't kill, after all.
why didn't the guy lock up his gun knowing his wife was a little cuckoo?
Bingo!
Wal-Mart should not have given the ammo keys to an untrained employee.
What training? I often have to get someone from the sewing department to help me.

lysander
August 9, 2008, 07:44 PM
Mmmmmmmmmm.....where to begin?

Because this guy couldn't lock up his guns, I'm not going to be able to buy ammo at Wal-mart.

We don't know that his guns weren't locked up do we?

They'll settle. Hell, the guy is only asking 75K, cheaper than a trial.

As has been previously mentioned, the amount of damages being asked for is strictly a requirement of jurisdiction. Many lawyers have dropped asking for huge damages sums in complaints. The prayer for damages that used to allege millions draws a public backlash. So I guess you can't win for trying. Ask for millions and people say you are trying to intimidate the defendant into a settlement. Ask for the jurisdictional minimum and people think you have a crap case and are trolling for a quickie settlement. The real damages request probably wouldn't appear until closing arguments.

Walmart cannot possibly be responsible in ANY WAY for this tragedy.

No? What about negligence per se? Walmart's agent sold handgun ammunition to a woman in violation of state law. The woman is a member of a class intended to be protected by the FOID act. Ergo...an actionable negligence claim.

jonmerritt
August 9, 2008, 10:03 PM
Good point Eightball, thankyou.

Orthonym
August 9, 2008, 10:04 PM
Stevemis, yep, there are "better" ways. If I felt like I just had to do it, say I had advanced metastatic bone cancer or something, well, somehow arrange for myself and a bottle of compressed nitrogen to inhabit the same small space, and crack the valve open. Hypoxia is the easiest way to go.

P.s. There was a woman around here a few years back who shot her daughter in the head with a .44 Special, then shot herself in the chest. Reminds me of that Dorothy L. Sayers novel about the guy who was too vain to shoot himself in the head.

Really, if one is contemplating something like that, I think he should take at least as much care as H. Beam Piper did, when he did himself in. I recommend a thorough enema beforehand, as well.

hotpig
August 10, 2008, 12:47 AM
Wal Marts register system always reminds the employee that they have to check the FOID. The employee did not do it even though it was right there in writing on her check out screen.

I do not think Wal Mart will have a leg to stand on. Even if the employee knew nothing about firearm laws.

MICHAEL T
August 10, 2008, 12:54 AM
Well come insurance won't pay on suicide. So maybe husband trying to recover some losses. After all he will need trolling money to find a new wife.

hotpig
August 10, 2008, 01:13 AM
Fisherman_48768
Female suicide with a firearm is rare, they tend to use less destructive means. Makes me wonder if further information needs to be looked at.

I generally follow this line of reasoning also.

The last one that I had was a 21 year old pretty blond that worked security at a area hospital.

She was found slumped over the steering wheel of her car in a local park at 3am.

There was one empty 9mm shell case lying on the ground near the drivers door. The doors were locked and the windows were all rolled up.

A Berreta 92 9mm was lying on the floor between her feet. It had a stove pipe malfunction.

The female had a hugh hole in her forehead and a tiny hole in the back of her head. The Deputy Coroner on call bagged her and transported her to the local hospital for post mortum x rays. I met him there to help move the body.

When I saw her forehead I about had a cow. No pretty young gal is going to shoot themselves in the face. And do it from the back of their head!!

I had the Coroner and sheriff called in to Investigate further. After shooting some xrays we found the bullet image. It was caught up in her hair at the back of her head.

Further examination of the forehead showed it to be a large hole from the muzzle blast.

I was real embarrassed but also glad that we did not have a homicide scene that was ruined because it was to recognized as such early on.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 10, 2008, 01:27 AM
Normally I am quite gleeful when I hear Walmart is sued, and in fact the plaintiff has an arguably valid legal claim called "negligence per se" (statutory violation leading to the exact harm contemplated by the statute - one of them anyway), and the smoking gun of the manager admitting that the clerk had not received the firearms training, (so the lawsuit will likely succeed in bringing about a "confidential settlement"), but since the FOID law in the first place is violative of everyone's 2A rights, and since I think people should be perfectly free to off themselves if they are an adult, then I have a real problem with this lawsuit.

denfoote
August 10, 2008, 01:47 AM
The Peoria County State's Attorney's office filed criminal charges against Wal-Mart clerk Christy Blake for selling the ammunition, but later dropped the charges.

There are no Federal restrictions for an adult to buy ammunition, save being prohibited person.
Buying ammunition is guaranteed by the second amendment.
This probably reflects an evaluation by the State's Attorney that requiring a FOID contradicts the recent SCOTUS decision.

Gunsby_Blazen
August 10, 2008, 02:03 AM
Sadly, the man and Wal-Mart are both to blame.
The man should have locked up his gun, and Wal-Mart should have followed the law. I don’t agree with the whole FOID card program because I don’t think the gov should know that you own firearms. But, the purpose of FOID is to prevent mentally handicap and unlawful citizens to get their hands on stuff like that.

Despite not agreeing with FOID, Wal-Mart dropped the ball and I don’t think they can win.

My projection, Wal-Mart will settle out of court and will continue selling ammo in Illinois.

And Denfoote, I really doubt that the Heller decision had any impact on the reason why he dropped the case.

Trying to get rid of FOID in Illinois is a completely different battle. Illinois is really stuck in its ways. FOID has its pros and cons and sometimes I flip flop on the whole idea form time to time. Hope I don’t get hounded for that last statement.

But, maybe I am wrong. Perhaps FOID is on its way out...
Either way, I don’t think things will change around here for some time.

misANTHrope
August 10, 2008, 02:27 AM
Why are we assuming that the gun was not locked up? I'm no saying that it's not likely that this was the case, but it seems like there is some conclusion-jumping going on here.

RaspberrySurprise
August 10, 2008, 05:22 AM
I guess I must be one of the few people who considers the woman solely responsible for killing herself. This is not to say that if I was that woman's husband I would not have secured my weapon beyond her reach if I knew or was suspicious of her state of mind.

Each time a court finds for the plaintiff in a case like this it removes the amount of responsibility that is required of an adult, some day I can see being able to sue a company for accidentally cutting yourself with a knife because they sold it to someone too stupid not try and trim their nails with a machete.

Walmart should of course be punished for breaking the law but such punishment is between the State and Walmart, there are likely fines and other provisions in place for when a company breaks this law.

lysander
August 10, 2008, 09:00 AM
Each time a court finds for the plaintiff in a case like this it removes the amount of responsibility that is required of an adult, some day I can see being able to sue a company for accidentally cutting yourself with a knife because they sold it to someone to stupid not try and trim their nails with a machete.

The notion of responsibility cuts both ways. That is why Illinois uses a modified form of comparative negligence in tort claims. If the woman who killed herself is found by the jury to be more than 50% responsible...she loses. If she is found 40% responsible, her estate collects 60% of the total damages awarded.

Neo-Luddite
August 10, 2008, 09:45 AM
I hate the FOID nonsense as much as the next guy--but the clerk didn't follow the law---and it seems may not have KNOWN the law owing to lack of training.

Hopefully this matter will be settled calmly and quitely and the family allowed to heal.

As said I dislike the FOID, but I make a special point to be proactive and to hand mine over for inspection when buying ammo---especially when a young and possibly inexperienced person is checking me out.

But even in the gun shop I am a 'regular' at, I produce my FOID when buying ammo--despite the fact that they know me on sight and have a copy of my FOID and FFL-3 on file.

The law is the law and until it is changed can trip people up.

Onmilo
August 10, 2008, 10:53 AM
I know the city of Peoria pretty well.
There are no gun shops left there anymore and there are only four places you can buy firearms or ammunition there, Gander Mountain, Dicks, Dunhams, and Wal-Mart.

You can rarely get anybody to wait on you at the Dicks and the Dunhams.
You aren't getting ammo at the Gander unless you have a Gun Card, that leaves Wal-Mart and an inexperienced and most likely manipulated clerk to handle the transaction.

Most Wal=Marts in this state have already eliminated gun sales, looks like ammo is the next thing to go.

My question is where did she get the gun???????

Talonap
August 10, 2008, 11:33 AM
By Halftime: Is it legal for a person, who shares a place of residence with a mentally ill person, to possess a firearm? I checked the Illinois State Police website, but could not find an answer.

Sure! The families of Chicago politicians do it all the time!

By MICHAEL T: Well come insurance won't pay on suicide. So maybe husband trying to recover some losses. After all he will need trolling money to find a new wife.

Actually, after the policy has been in effect for usually about two years, they will pay.

myrockfight
August 11, 2008, 06:16 PM
Since the lawsuit was dropped, it seems it would be prudent to think of why.

The most significant reason I can think of is that he was as responsible, or more so than Walmart in his wife's suicide. If she was mentally unstable, why would he let her have access to the gun?

He sounds more like an opportunist with a really, really, bad lawyer. Call 1-800-BAD-SUIT!


It is sad though. I hope he was just blinded by emotion rather than greed. You never know though.

lysander
August 11, 2008, 08:36 PM
He sounds more like an opportunist with a really, really, bad lawyer. Call 1-800-BAD-SUIT!


It is sad though. I hope he was just blinded by emotion rather than greed. You never know though.

Yes, the criminal charges against the clerk were dropped. Criminal charges get dropped for all kinds of reasons. However, lack of prosecution by the state for a crime doesn't absolve the wrong-doer of liability in a negligence per se action. The plaintiff could still prove that the criminal law was violated as part of their case.

I have read plenty of research on juries. That research supports the notion that the typical American juror is hardest on two types of litigants in our system. 1) Criminal defendants and 2) Civil plaintiffs. In each case, the jurors think the litigant is "trying to get away with something." The criminal defendant is trying to get away with their crime. The civil plaintiff is trying to get something for nothing.

Of course...this makes it very difficult for defendants who actually are innocent and for plaintiffs who actually have a real case.

Many in this thread seem willing to automatically assume that the husband is just greedy. That the husband was a fool who didn't lock up his guns. We don't know that. Maybe his wife lifted the keys to his safe?

Why is no one addressing the greed and inattention to detail demonstrated by Walmart? The company obviously enjoys the fiscal benefits of selling ammunition in Illinois...as such...they ought to comply with the law. Consequently their staff should be trained properly. They weren't. They sold ammo, in violation of the law, directly to the kind of person the FOID law is intended to protect (i.e. children and the mentally ill).

SCKimberFan
August 11, 2008, 08:48 PM
Quote

"Why is no one addressing the greed and inattention to detail demonstrated by Walmart?"

I don't think greed played a part in this as much as the clerk's stupity or the manager's stupity for allowing her to wait on customer she should not have been taking care of. The inattention to detail has been discussed - many of the posts spoke to that.

scythefwd
August 11, 2008, 11:54 PM
Guys,
Having lived in IL for about 18 years, the FOID is nothing more than an inconvience and a way to see what guns you have. You will not be turned down for a FOID for any reason except that you have lost your rights to own a gun under federal law (I believe that a bad mental eval or felony is about it). I had my FOID as early as 8 years old, which means I couldn't buy ammo or guns yet but they still gave me one. I don't agree with the government being able to know you have guns, but it doesn't restrict you from getting a gun. It just requires that you have passed a background check before you buy (and IL doesn't accept an instant background check as far as I know). To those that said she could drive an hour to a neighboring state and get ammo, you have never been to Peoria. I grew up there. It is 2 hours from the nearest border. I do think he is culpable for not putting up the firearm so she had no access to it (which she obviously did). I also think that Wally world is to blame. The law is very clear, it flashes on the screen when you check out, and ignorance of the law doesn't absolve you from it. What Wallyworld's clerk did was ILLEGAL. There is no other way to say it truthfully.

Zoogster
August 12, 2008, 12:08 AM
You know it sounds a lot like IL FOID requirements are interfering with interstate commerce of a right that is an individualy protected right.
Congress should do something about it.
The government is so quick to stretch interstate commerce against us in matters that do not even pertain to interstate commerce, why not use it for our benefit when it is valid?

Isn't there some culpability on the part of the seller for not doing an ID check?

The woman made an adult decision to do something tragic. Nobody is to blame except her if that was the case.

I am surprised they did not already have ammo, what idiot keeps firearms and no ammo? That sounds fishy.
Did the guy send her in to buy ammo just to kill her later and make it appear she did everything herself?
So a woman drove a deadly several thousand pound chunk of metal to the store to purchase ammo, to then safely drove back home and loaded a gun with the intent to kill herself and people are complaining?
I say bravo. During that entire trip she could have killed herself and taken any number of people with her, yet she chose not to infringe on the rights of anyone else.

Whether the gun was locked up or not makes little difference. How many couples exist where one could not get into something of the others? In fact they mutaly own the property, so she can legaly break into it if she can't unlock it. There is no law against breaking your own property.

Locks work for children, they are not meant to stop adults with tools and enough time.

The firearm is no more to blame than a piece of rope would be to blame if she used one instead.


I do think he is culpable for not putting up the firearm so she had no access to it (which she obviously did). I also think that Wally world is to blame. The law is very clear, it flashes on the screen when you check out, and ignorance of the law doesn't absolve you from it. What Wallyworld's clerk did was ILLEGAL. There is no other way to say it truthfully.
See that is the difference between nanny states and thier citizens. They don't believe in treating adults like adults, but rather like older children who slowly earn privelidges.
I think nobody is to blame but her as reported. She was an adult that made an adult decision. A decision that could have involved any number of inanimate objects.

If only they had kept the ammo from her! Then she might have chosen to drive into and smash head on into a supporter of the nanny state to kill herself instead. Maybe right into you or a family member after being denied her ammo purchase. After all driving 100mph and crossing into oncoming traffic would probably be rather effective, and most Americans own vehicles and are perfectly capable of it.
Perhaps her getting ammo actualy saved someone like you?

The FOID is illegal IMHO under the 2nd. It requires a person to pay a tax (the fee) to excercise an individual right, a right recently held as an individual right by the SCOTUS. It expires, and must be renewed to not suddenly be breaking the law.
I guess a tax on free speech and a poll tax when you vote should also be in place?

Your logic is what incrementaly expands the mindset and restrictions of a nanny state. You eventualy end up like jolly ol England if you defend such actions and logic. An adult chose to take thier own life and did so in a way that did not infringe on the rights of any other citizen. In my opinion that is thier choice to make as a free individual.

ants
August 12, 2008, 12:58 AM
I hope we get over calling the young clerk "stupid". If she wasn't trained, how can you possibly think she should what to do?

On this Forum we are smarter than placing blame on the untrained clerk, who probably can't sleep at night thinking she did something wrong and played a role in the death of another lady.

Gibbles
August 12, 2008, 08:27 AM
Over at our local walmart, they don't have anyone to run sporting goods, we are lucky if they keep the ammo shelf stocked, I cleared their blazer .45 out, and a month later, they were still out, I had to drive to another town.
In order to get ammo there, I usually have to find someone in automotive or electronics. Usually even then I have to go behind the counter to show him/her what I want. :rolleyes:

#shooter
August 12, 2008, 09:12 AM
What a shock it is to learn that he isn't responsible for her death by leaving a gun around unsecured.:barf: Lets hope wally world wins this one.

lysander
August 12, 2008, 01:55 PM
I don't think greed played a part in this as much as the clerk's stupity or the manager's stupity for allowing her to wait on customer she should not have been taking care of.

I chalk this up to greed. Low wages attract low quality workers, but allow the company to increase profitability. Understaffing a store so workers have to help customers outside their departments leads to poor service, however that same understaffing enhances profitability. Skimping on procedural training saves time and money for the company.

....this is all chalked up to greed.

I fully comprehend and understand that this woman bought bullets, put them in a gun and killed herself. However, she is not the only one at fault here. The simple fact of the matter is that the state of Illinois had laws on the books regarding the sale of ammunition. Those laws were not followed. This amounts to negligence on the part of Walmart. You plays the game, you pays the fee. Whether or not the suicidal woman was more than 50% at fault is for a jury to decide.

I cannot get over how many people on this board buy into the false "conservative" meme that civil litigation brought by individuals is somehow a bad thing. If you value individual rights...especially CIVIL rights...then you have to take the good with the bad. Some cases will be bad, some cases will be good. Ultimately we should let juries decide this because we DO value individuals and we DO want our day in court.

K3
August 12, 2008, 02:27 PM
I fully comprehend and understand that this woman bought bullets, put them in a gun and killed herself. However, she is not the only one at fault here. The simple fact of the matter is that the state of Illinois had laws on the books regarding the sale of ammunition. Those laws were not followed. This amounts to negligence on the part of Walmart. You plays the game, you pays the fee. Whether or not the suicidal woman was more than 50% at fault is for a jury to decide.

Had this happened in Texas where there is no FOID, would you still be singing the same tune?

lysander
August 12, 2008, 03:26 PM
Had this happened in Texas where there is no FOID, would you still be singing the same tune?

I haven't seen a copy of the complaint that was filed by the plaintiff's attorney, however, based upon what the lawyer said in the article, I'm guessing that the complaint has at least one count based on negligence per se.

If the law were different (as it apparently is in TX) then you wouldn't be able to bring a negligence per se claim. So I wouldn't be singing the same tune. But, as you Texans are so fond of pointing out...the rest of the world (including Illinois) is not Texas.

K3
August 12, 2008, 03:39 PM
I haven't seen a copy of the complaint that was filed by the plaintiff's attorney, however, based upon what the lawyer said in the article, I'm guessing that the complaint has at least one count based on negligence per se.

If the law were different (as it apparently is in TX) then you wouldn't be able to bring a negligence per se claim. So I wouldn't be singing the same tune. But, as you Texans are so fond of pointing out...the rest of the world (including Illinois) is not Texas.

Indeed.

I could have said New Mexico but chose Texas because I live there. I am looking at this from a more pragmatic perspective rather than nitpicky legal BS.

My question to you, BS Illinois laws aside, is this: Is anybody but the deceased responsible for her death?

The husband shouldn't be suing.

The clerk shouldn't bear any responsibility.

Wal-Mart, and I hate to say this, shouldn't either.

MakAttak
August 12, 2008, 04:08 PM
The simple fact of the matter is that the state of Illinois had laws on the books regarding the sale of ammunition. Those laws were not followed. This amounts to negligence on the part of Walmart. You plays the game, you pays the fee.

Quite right.

I hope Wal-Mart stops selling all firearms supplies in Illinois.

That'll teach Wal-Mart!

jdorian
August 12, 2008, 04:45 PM
Its ok, I stopped buying ammo from walmart as of my last bad experience where they made me feel like I was a criminal and not allowing my to touch the box or inspect the ammo before I bought it. Gander Mtn has it right on the shelf, as do many other stores, and even if they do have it locked up or behind the counter, any decent place will allow you to inspect something like ammo, an item that is NON-RETURNABLE! :fire:

ZeSpectre
August 12, 2008, 04:47 PM
A Peoria man is taking on Wal-Mart saying the lack of an employee's training led to the death of his wife

More like a Peoria man wants some money.

lysander
August 12, 2008, 05:01 PM
I hope Wal-Mart stops selling all firearms supplies in Illinois.

I'm sure that every local gun shop agrees with you...and would like to see the same. Some big box operations get it right (i.e. Gander, and Bass Pro), but Walmart does not. They carry the merchandise because it suits their bottom line, not because they are committed to the holy grail of the 2A.

MakAttak
August 12, 2008, 05:13 PM
I'm sure that every local gun shop agrees with you...and would like to see the same. Some big box operations get it right (i.e. Gander, and Bass Pro), but Walmart does not. They carry the merchandise because it suits their bottom line, not because they are committed to the holy grail of the 2A.

I don't want a business serving me because of their good will.

I want a business to serve me because it is in their best interest.

It's foolish to expect a business to remain so if they do not act in their own best interest.

The more we make it not in a business' best interest to offer firearms and ammunition, the more they will cease to serve us.

Please beat up on Wal-Mart more.

I love how the rich want to close Wal-Mart down to help the "little guy" so the poor can pay higher prices elsewhere.

There! Don't you feel so much better now, making the poor worse off?

edman
August 12, 2008, 05:15 PM
WalMart should sue the husband for their loss of a customer.

He left a gun for her, and now WalMart will loose all those future sales.


My logic is just as good as theirs!

lysander
August 12, 2008, 05:17 PM
My question to you, BS Illinois laws aside, is this: Is anybody but the deceased responsible for her death?

The husband shouldn't be suing.

The clerk shouldn't bear any responsibility.

Wal-Mart, and I hate to say this, shouldn't either.

I honestly can't answer that question because I don't have all the facts. The woman committed the act and bears responsibility. I would argue she doesn't bear it all. Our system recognizes that some people lack the capacity to act rationally. (children, the insane, etc.)

We also don't know to what extent the husband went to secure his guns. Maybe he had them stacked on a table in the kitchen with post-its that said. "Insert Ammo here." "Point this here." "Pull this here." Or maybe they were locked up in his safe and his wife lifted the keys or the combo.

If the guy has a legal claim (and he does) he should sue. Sleeping on your rights is never a good idea. Seeing as how the State dropped criminal charges, the clerk's responsibility will be limited to the extent she acted as an agent of Walmart.

Walmart is a corporation. Corporations are, for all intents and purposes, treated as people. Corporations act through their agents (the clerk). If the person known as Walmart, acting through one of its agents, broke the law and something bad happened as a result, then the person/corporation known as Walmart may be liable.

....this is no different than how you or I would and should be treated.

lysander
August 12, 2008, 05:37 PM
I want a business to serve me because it is in their best interest.

Yes. Yes. Every man for himself and all that. You act in your best interest, the giant legal person known as Walmart will act in their best interest, and somehow all of America is better for it.

I love how the rich want to close Wal-Mart down to help the "little guy" so the poor can pay higher prices elsewhere.

If you have drawn the idea that I am "rich" because I am a) critical of Walmart's inability to follow the laws of Illinois and b) don't think they should be held to a different standard than that applied to regular people because they are a big business, you would be way off.

What is amazing to me, is how capably the "rich" have flipped America's love for the underdog and the little guy over on top of itself. Restricting this plaintiff's access to the courts to have his case heard cuts against your future access to justice, not Walmart's.

Everybody wants tort reform till they get torted. Everyone wants medical malpractice reform till their doctor botches the delivery of their baby.

....and we all want this why? Because we have been told ad infinitum that we really only hurt ourselves when we enforce our rights against the big companies that make America great. We have the old American ideal of "rugged individualism" turned into a weapon against us. Now the accountability part of the equation only applies to the little guy....anything else is just money-grubbing.

Soybomb
August 12, 2008, 08:29 PM
My question to you, BS Illinois laws aside, is this: Is anybody but the deceased responsible for her death?
I don't know if you'd call this ethical or moral or what but I think in a marriage you do take on some responsibility for your partners well being when they become incapable of ensuring it themselves. If you have a mentally infirm spouse you take on additional responsibilities for caring for them just as you would with supervising a child. You don't leave a gun accessible to your mentally ill spouse any more than you'd leave draino in the playpen. Legal liability - no, but as far as just doing the right thing, yes.

lysander
August 12, 2008, 09:34 PM
I don't know if you'd call this ethical or moral or what but I think in a marriage you do take on some responsibility for your partners well being when they become incapable of ensuring it themselves. If you have a mentally infirm spouse you take on additional responsibilities for caring for them just as you would with supervising a child. You don't leave a gun accessible to your mentally ill spouse any more than you'd leave draino in the playpen. Legal liability - no, but as far as just doing the right thing, yes.

Insofar as the husband is concerned, I agree with you. What we don't know is to what extent he went to secure his firearms.

I'm certain, that if a national law was passed requiring gun owners who shared homes with people who have been treated for mental illness, or have been prescribed medication for anxiety/depression what have you, that mandated all firearms be moved out of the home...many THR members would be up in arms. (pun intended)

whosyrdaddy
August 12, 2008, 10:27 PM
What we don't know is to what extent he went to secure his firearms.

Correct. But, assuming his wife was not a locksmith, safe cracker, and hadn't enlisted the help of others, his precautions were insufficient. He should not only be barred from suing Wal-Mart, he should be facing a charge of negligent homicide.

lysander
August 12, 2008, 10:40 PM
But, assuming his wife was not a locksmith, safe cracker, and hadn't enlisted the help of others, his precautions were insufficient.

Were the precautions insufficient or did his precautions fail? As part of his precautions, he emptied his house of ammunition, relying on the legal backstop of the FOID to prevent his wife from driving to the local Wally World and buying ammo. We don't know anymore than that. The jury will hear the evidence and make the call.

We certainly know that Walmart was insufficient. In their training. In their staffing. In their willingness to observe the law. As a consequence, they open themselves up to liability.

....and don't worry...as I mentioned earlier in the thread, the jury will more than likely bounce this case. Despite what everyone thinks, jackpot justice doesn't exists, juries are stingy and largely unsympathetic.

whosyrdaddy
August 12, 2008, 11:33 PM
Were the precautions insufficient or did his precautions fail?

Makes no difference. If your attempts to contain your dog fail then you will be held liable because failure does not relieve you of the legal burden to maintain control of your dog.

GRB
August 12, 2008, 11:36 PM
um, so why didn't the guy lock up his gun knowing his wife was a little cuckoo? Maybe just so she would kill herself, it is a possibility I suppose. If it was an oversight on hos part, he apparently is now maybe trying to assuage his guilt by blaming someone else. That is America for you - sue happy.

jdorian
August 13, 2008, 09:09 PM
All things aside, the clerk violated state law. I'm not sure if the clerk should be liable for anything beyond that part. Its pretty much the same as if the clerk sold alcohol or tobacco to an underage person. Its a civil fine and in many states involves a hearing at a state agency which normally results in a slight black mark on the store's record. After multiple violations, the fines may or may not increase, and after a certain amount of violations, the individual store's license to sell might be suspended or revoked. Normally when it gets close to that point, most stores just sell it to a new owner and the "record" starts "fresh".

lysander
August 13, 2008, 09:37 PM
Makes no difference. If your attempts to contain your dog fail then you will be held liable because failure does not relieve you of the legal burden to maintain control of your dog.

It actually does make a difference...because the standards for liability would be different in each case. Dog bites in Illinois are handled by statute. Typically the first bite is "free." The standard for dog bites is not what you state above...your standard is akin to strict liability and typically does not apply to domesticated animals like dogs.

...Ligers yes....dogs no.

This lawsuit is not grounded in strict liability, it is grounded in negligence. Specifically, a type of negligence claim that turns on the violation of an existing state law. Walmart could have avoided this lawsuit in several ways, the most obvious being to stay out of the guns and ammo business. However, they could also have spent more money to train their people and to create procedures to prevent this sort of thing. Failing to do so has exposed them to a liability risk.

Now, as far as the constitutionality of the FOID act goes...you aren't going to beat it with an commerce clause argument. The act has scads of exceptions for out of staters, it allows for out of staters to sell ammo to IL residents, etc. In short it doesn't "substantially effect" interstate commerce. The Illinois RBKA is "subject only to the police power", so the FOID doesn't overreach there either.

....them is the breaks...

If you enjoyed reading about "Suicidal IL Woman Buys Ammunition Without FOID Card--Husband Sues" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!