A group of New York officials has joined the families of three people killed in a 2015 Pennsylvania shooting spree in their effort to hold retail giant Walmart responsible for illegally selling ammunition used in the killings.
The group, which includes New York Public Advocate Letitia James, 10 New York City Council members and two state senators, filed a legal brief in Philadelphia arguing that a federal law giving gun and ammunition dealers immunity from lawsuits does not protect Walmart.
Among other things, the Ross Feller Casey lawsuit alleges that, in the early morning of July 5, 2015, Robert Jourdain, then 20, was allowed to purchase a box of .38 caliber bullets from a Walmart despite being under 21 – the legal age to buy the bullets. Jourdain gave the ammo to his cousin, Todd West, who used it in a shooting spree on the streets of Allentown and Easton, Pennsylvania, killing three people.
In their brief, the New York officials said they have an interest in the lawsuit because Pennsylvania is one of six states on the so-called "Iron Pipeline" where the majority of illegally obtained guns and bullets used in New York crimes orginate.
Matt Casey, a Ross Feller Casey founding partner who is litigating the case, told The Morning Call of Allentown that, while he welcomes the support of New York officials, the claims in the lawsuit are anything but political.
"It is, plainly and simply, a case of egregiously reckless conduct on the part of one of the world's largest corporations that resulted in horrific injuries and the ultimate death of totally innocent citizens of our commonwealth," Casey said.