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,, 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.

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