Washington, D.C., July 2, 2019 — Seven years ago, Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox was shot and killed in the line of duty by a felon prohibited from owning guns. Fox was a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Iraq. Today, a major settlement has been announced on behalf of Officer Fox’s widow and children in their lawsuit against In Site Firearms, the gun dealer who sold the gun used in the shooting in a series of straw purchases. Officer Fox’s shooting previously led to the passage of the “Brad Fox Law” in Pennsylvania, which established mandatory minimum sentences for repeat straw purchasers.
As part of the settlement, In Site agreed to several major reforms in the ways it conducts business. In Site has agreed to publicly display Officer Fox’s picture with a statement acknowledging its role in his death and its commitment to preventing straw purchases in the future. The company will also improve employee training and oversight, as well as the practices it employs to screen for potential straw and other prohibited purchasers.
Brady (formerly the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence) and Dechert, LLP brought the lawsuit in 2014 on behalf of Officer Fox’s wife Lynsay and his family. They were also assisted by Leonard Cohen of Lundy Law. In addition to the agreed-upon business reforms, the settlement also includes a monetary settlement, the total of which remains confidential by mutual decision.
Jonathan Lowy, Brady VP of Legal and co-counsel for the family of Bradley Fox, stated,
“Officer Bradley Fox survived two tours of duty in Iraq with the Marine Corps, only to be killed on the streets of his hometown with a gun sold to a straw purchaser by a local gun dealer and placed into the hands of a known felon. As a result of this lawsuit, that gun dealer has agreed to significant changes in the way it does business to keep guns out of the wrong hands. We believe this settlement should send a clear message to the gun dealers of America — you are not above the law and you will be held accountable. Gun dealers who live up to their responsibilities can be part of the solution to gun violence, and not part of the problem. We are proud to have obtained some justice for Lynsay Fox and her children and to do our part to ensure that gun dealers will take their responsibilities seriously in the future.”
In Site Firearms agreed to implement substantial reforms in their business practices to deter future straw sales as part of the settlement, including:
- Utilizing a new point of sale system to improve customer and potential customer monitoring, as well as regulatory reporting functions;
- Requiring new and existing employees to participate in both initial and ongoing training in how to identify and prevent straw sales and revising the employee handbook related to customer screening; and
- Permanently placing a picture of Officer Fox in at least three visible locations and the company website, along with language regarding In Site’s role in his death and its commitment to preventing straw purchases.
Brady has successfully represented the families of three children killed in Philadelphia with straw-purchased guns, 7-year-old Nafis Jefferson, 10-year-old Faheem Thomas-Childs, and 15-year-old Anthony Oliver, and helped the City of Philadelphia defend against a lawsuit brought by the NRA seeking to strike down city gun ordinances.
Brady has represented victims of gun industry negligence for almost 30 years, and has won over $30 million in settlements and verdicts in cases brought by Brady for victims and survivors. Brady also has won landmark precedents holding that gun companies can be held legally responsible for the damage caused by their irresponsible business practices, and has forced gun dealers and manufacturers to reform their practices to prevent sales of guns to dangerous people. Brady has won victories in the Supreme Courts of Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, and appellate and trial courts in California, Florida, Mississippi, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and other states. These victories include: a $5.7 million jury verdict against a Wisconsin gun dealer; a $2.5 million settlement against a Washington state gun dealer and Maine gun manufacturer; a $2.2 million dollar settlement against a Missouri gun dealer; and a $1 million settlement against a West Virginia gun dealer.
Dechert is a leading global law firm with 26 offices around the world. The firm advises on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.
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 the common sense. In the spirit of our founders Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 25 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.