Dismissal of St. Louis Case Affirmed on Appeal
July 28, 2004
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE: RGR), is pleased to announce that the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's dismissal of the St. Louis Municipal lawsuit against the company and other firearms industry members on July 27, 2004 (City of St. Louis v. Cernicek, et.al, in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, No. ED83830).
The case was originally filed by the city on May 24, 1999. The trial court dismissed the case as to all manufacturer defendants on October 15, 2003, and as to all non-manufacturer defendants on October 24, 2003. In affirming the trial court's dismissal of the case, the three-judge Appellate Court panel stated that it relied upon Missouri law which expressly reserved the regulation of the manufacture and sale of firearms to the state legislature, not the city:
"The enactment of this statute seems to be in response to suits like this one, which attempts to apply theories of tort liability to the significantly regulated industry of manufacturers, distributors, and dealers of firearms. Therefore, we find the city's claims are prohibited by subsections 4 and 5 of Section 21.750."
"This decision, the latest in a long line of defeats for attempted misusers of our tort system, is significant in two ways," commented Sturm, Ruger President Stephen L. Sanetti. "It affirms that elected legislatures, not judges or creative plaintiffs' attorneys, are supposed to draft our nation's laws and regulations. Also, it demonstrates the need for effective national legislation to pre-empt such lawsuits to stop wasting both taxpayer money and the resources of an industry which is a vital national defense asset. All the city accomplished was to force both sides to waste a lot of money, and nothing constructive was accomplished."
"We again call upon all the mayors of America's cities to work with the firearms industry to help promote safe and responsible firearms ownership. Programs such as the industry-sponsored "Project Child Safe" which has distributed millions of free gun locks to city residents nationwide, and the joint industry/BATFE "Don't Lie for the Other Guy" prospective firearms purchaser awareness program, can do far more to combat potential firearms misuse than any ill-conceived litigation," he concluded.
About Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. is one of the nation's leading manufacturers of rugged,
reliable firearms for the commercial sporting market. As a full-line manufacturer
of American-made firearms, Ruger offers consumers over 400 variations of more than
30 product lines. For more than 60 years, Ruger has been a model of corporate and
community responsibility. Our motto, “Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens®,”
echoes the importance of these principles as we work hard to deliver quality and
The Company may, from time to time, make forward-looking statements and projections
concerning future expectations. Such statements are based on current expectations
and are subject to certain qualifying risks and uncertainties, such as market demand,
sales levels of firearms, anticipated castings sales and earnings, the need for
external financing for operations or capital expenditures, the results of pending
litigation against the Company, the impact of future firearms control and environmental
legislation, and accounting estimates, any one or more of which could cause actual
results to differ materially from those projected. Readers are cautioned not to place
undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made.
The Company undertakes no obligation to publish revised forward-looking statements to
reflect events or circumstances after the date such forward-looking statements are made
or to reflect the occurrence of subsequent unanticipated events.
Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. “Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens®”