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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.