Lawsuit seeks to hold gun sellers accountable after shooting

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The family of one of the victims of the shooting at the Jewish Community wants to send a message with a lawsuit: Keep guns out of the hands of felons.

Jim LaManno and his children are suing Wal-Mart and a gun dealer, among others, accusing them of negligence.

Wal-Mart employees and a gun seller should not have sold shot guns to a white supremacist and felon -- that’s the heart of a lawsuit that claims those guns were then used to murder three victims at Overland Park Jewish Centers.

“Claiming they violated both federal and state statues to prevent a felon from having a firearm. Clearly, Mr. Miller was a felon,” said Lou Accurso of Accurso Law Firm.

The lawsuit filed in Kacson County alleges the gunman, Frazier Glenn Cross, was a convicted felon not legally allowed to purchase guns.

But in October of 2013, the lawsuit claims Cross and a Lawrence County, Mo. man named in the lawsuit bought two shotguns. One was bought at a Springfield gun show from Friendly Firearms, the other at a Lawrence County Wal-Mart.

The lawsuit claims John Reidle acted as a “straw man,” but that Cross actually bought the guns and that workers who sold them should have known that.

According to the lawsuit, “the remarks and behavior of Reidle and Miller were such that Friendly and Friendly’s employees knew, had reason to know, or recklessly failed to know that Reidle and Miller would use a firearm in a manner involving unreasonable risk of harm to others whom Friendly and Friendly’s employees should expect to share in or be endangered by Reidle’s or Miller’s possession of a firearm.”

“It happens more often than we care to admit is the problem. There are laws and procedures that are designed to stop that. In this case, they weren’t followed,” said Accurso.

The guns ended up in Cross’ hands and were later used at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom where Cross gunned down Terry LaManno, William Corporon, and Reat Underwood.

“It’s the only way to get justice, through our court system,” Accurso said.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Even more so, the LaManno family hopes that it sends a strong message.

Accurso said a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling bolsters the Lamanno family’s lawsuit.