Gun Store Owner Pays Big Time For Selling To 'Straw Buyer'

In the summer of 2009, Officer Bryan Norberg and retired Officer Graham Kunisch were both shot after they stopped Julius Burton for riding his bike on the sidewalk. Surveillance video shows the officers slammed Burton in the wall before he shot them both in the face.

Investigators found that Burton obtained his gun by paying Jacob Collins $40 to purchase it from Badger Guns in West Milwaukee. One bullet shattered eight of Norberg's teeth, blew through his cheek and lodged into his shoulder. Despite the difficulties, Norberg still remains on the force.

Kunisch was shot several times, resulting in him losing an eye and part of the frontal lobe of his brain. He said the wounds caused his retirement.

Norberg and Kunisch filed a negligence lawsuit against the store. The suit alleges that the shop allowed illegal sales even though there were several signs that the gun was being sold to a "straw buyer"--someone who was buying the gun for someone who couldn't legally do so.

Jurors sided with the officers on Tuesday. They ordered Badger Guns to pay Norberg $1.5 million and Kunisch $3.6 million, in addition to $730,000 in punitive damages.

The gun shop's defense lawyers denied wrongdoing and said the owner, Adam Allan, couldn't be held financially responsible for crimes connected to a weapon sold at his shop. Badger Guns, previously known as Badger Outdoors, has since closed and been replaced by a gun shop called Brew City Shooters Supply. They are still run by Allan family members.

Photo: Smart Gun Laws

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