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Publication Date: 10/09/2007
Source: Associated Press Alert

NEW YORK_New York City's lawyers have asked a federal judge in Georgia to reconsider a ruling that a gun shop in that state can proceed with a 400 million dollar defamation lawsuit against Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials.

The city's motion says public officials' speech about public issues should be immune from lawsuits.

The lawsuit arose from comments Bloomberg made in May 2006 after he sued gun dealers in several states, including Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna. He accused them of allowing the illegal purchase of guns that end up in criminal hands.

The owners of the Smyrna gun shop accused the mayor and other city officials of negligence, defamation and interference with the gun store's business.

The gun shop's lawyer is former Representatiove Bob Barr. He called the sting operation conceived by Bloomberg and carried out by private investigators "careless, willful and clearly illegal."

The investigators posed as gun buyers at stores that had sold guns that Bloomberg said were later linked to more than 800 New York crimes between 1994 and 2001. He said 21 of the guns were sold by Adventure Outdoors.

City lawyer Eric Proshansky denied that any aspect of the sting was illegal under state or federal law. He asked U.S. District Judge J. Owen Forrester to dismiss the lawsuit, which was brought by the gun shop and its two owners.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not sure if they did or not.

What gets me is public officials making these types of statements then hiding behind immunity. I do think that public officials should be able to speak about public issues with immunity. However, when they conclude guilt in their statements, as Bloomberg did here, I think they cross the line and should be held accountable, especially when their statements are directed at a private citizen.
 

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Opus X said:
I'm not sure if they did or not.

What gets me is public officials making these types of statements then hiding behind immunity. I do think that public officials should be able to speak about public issues with immunity. However, when they conclude guilt in their statements, as Bloomberg did here, I think they cross the line and should be held accountable, especially when their statements are directed at a private citizen.
Their immunity should be limited to official acts done in furtherance of their duties, such as debating a political question. When they call or press conference or issue press releases, they ought to be fair game.
 

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ptsmith24 said:
The city's motion says public officials' speech about public issues should be immune from lawsuits.
Are they counter-suing or suing because of a speech?
Which "they" are you talking about? There are two separate lawsuits, both in federal court. One is in NY where NYC is the plaintiff and gun stores are defendants (nuisance for illegally allowing straw man purchases to allow guns into NYC). One is in GA where Adventure Outdoors is the plaintiff and NYC is the defendant (defamation).
 

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jrm said:
ptsmith24 said:
The city's motion says public officials' speech about public issues should be immune from lawsuits.
Are they counter-suing or suing because of a speech?
Which "they" are you talking about? There are two separate lawsuits, both in federal court. One is in NY where NYC is the plaintiff and gun stores are defendants (nuisance for illegally allowing straw man purchases to allow guns into NYC). One is in GA where Adventure Outdoors is the plaintiff and NYC is the defendant (defamation).
they = Adventure Outdoors. I'm talking about the defamation suit. I meant to be a little more clear on that.
 

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Well, protected speech becomes kinda obsolete when one acts on it, right? It's one thing to say this business is doing X and Y but to try to take that business out by filing a lawsuit and setting up a "sting", then clearly becomes the act of defamation, etc.
 

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BTW, aside from taking plenty of business to Adventure Outdoors, I have dropped some money in their "Bloomberg Defense Fund". I probably should donate even more next time. :)
 

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tace said:
Well, protected speech becomes kinda obsolete when one acts on it, right? It's one thing to say this business is doing X and Y but to try to take that business out by filing a lawsuit and setting up a "sting", then clearly becomes the act of defamation, etc.
Filing a lawsuit is subject to qualified immunity, because it is done in the furtherance of a governmental act (requiring people to answer for their actions). It can become defamatory when the case is "tried in media." There is no immunity when talking to the press.
 

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budder said:
tace said:
BTW, aside from taking plenty of business to Adventure Outdoors, I have dropped some money in their "Bloomberg Defense Fund". I probably should donate even more next time. :)
I finally went there on Tuesday after all your prainse, but they close at 7! Who closes at 7?
And they are closed on Sundays!! :shock:
Must be a conspiracy to allow their employees to have lives. ;)
 

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tace said:
budder said:
tace said:
BTW, aside from taking plenty of business to Adventure Outdoors, I have dropped some money in their "Bloomberg Defense Fund". I probably should donate even more next time. :)
I finally went there on Tuesday after all your prainse, but they close at 7! Who closes at 7?
And they are closed on Sundays!! :shock:
Must be a conspiracy to allow their employees to have lives. ;)
It just means I can't shop there :(
 
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