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Brady Center and Pioneer Pawn Jointly Announce Settlement of Lawsuit

Washington, D.C., March 15, 2018 - Sandra Mata, the wife of Rudy Mata, who was killed on September 25, 2012, has resolved her lawsuit against Pioneer Pawn Shop, and its owners, Robert and Pamela Furr. Mr. Mata was tragically killed by his son-in-law using a Glock handgun that he had pawned and retrieved from Pioneer Pawn earlier on the day of the shooting. The lawsuit was filed in September 2015 in the District Court of Tarrant County, Texas.

Throughout this litigation, Pioneer Pawn has maintained and continues to maintain that the transfer of the firearm back to its owner was in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, while Mrs. Mata disputes that position. Pioneer Pawn expressly denies any responsibility for the unfortunate incident. In order to resolve the litigation, Pioneer Pawn, in cooperation with the Brady Center, will implement policies to increase awareness on the part of its employees and to enhance the policies already in existence.

In summary, pursuant to the parties' agreement, Pioneer Pawn will adopt written store policies setting forth when employees may or must deny a firearm sale or pawn redemption; requiring employees to affirmatively assess whether customers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or are mentally unstable; requiring employees to report remarks, actions, or other indicators that a customer may be prohibited from purchasing a firearm, even if a background check results in a "proceed"; requiring employees to promptly report certain information to management and law enforcement; requiring employees to review trace requests from the ATF; and implementing mandatory training once a year for all employees who handle firearms.

For over 25 years, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has been the only law group in the country representing victims of gun violence in high-impact lawsuits to reform gun industry practices that contribute to gun violence. The Brady Center has won landmark precedents holding irresponsible gun companies accountable in courts across the country, including in Alaska, California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Brady has brought lawsuits on behalf of numerous law enforcement officers who were injured or killed in the line of duty, including officers shot in California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Counsel for Sandra Mata are Jonathan E. Lowy of the Brady Center in Washington D.C.; H. Christopher Boehning, Daniel H. Levi, Karen King, Kaveri Vaid, Mary Spooner and Amy Beaux of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York; and Albon Head, Jr. of Jackson Walker, LLP in Fort Worth, Texas. The Brady Center and Paul, Weiss are members of the Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce (FACT). FACT is a joint effort by our country's premier gun violence prevention organizations—the Brady Center and the Giffords Law Center—and the Brennan Center for Justice, a leading nonpartisan think tank. FACT works with lawyers from the nation's preeminent law firms to reduce gun violence and protect Americans' most fundamental freedom—the right to live.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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