Lawyers for two victims of the November 2017 mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs tell News Radio 1200 WOAI that the trial of their civil lawsuit against Academy Sports + Outdoor over the sale of the weapon used in the attack to begin in November, now that a San Antonio judge has given her approval for the lawsuit to proceed, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The civil lawsuit accuses Academy of selling the weapon to the gunman even though he presented a Colorado drivers' license as ID for the required background check. The magazine size on the assault-style weapon that the gunman, whose name we are not repeating, is outlawed in Colorado.
Attorney Jason Webster says if a person can just go across a state line and legally buy a prohibited weapon, the entire structure of weapons restrictions is useless.
"These laws are designed to protect people from this type of event," he said. "This is the very reason the magazine law was enacted in the State of Colorado,w as in response to the Aurora and Columbine shootings."
Academy is relying on what is called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which holds gun sellers harmless for actions that are taken with a gun after it leaves the store.
But Webster says that law doesn't cover weapons that are sold illegally.
"The law says you must know not only the laws of the state you are in, Texas, but also the laws of the state where they buyer came from, Colorado."
The victims are demanding $25 million in damages from Academy, and if they are successful, both sides agree the case could have a 'chilling effect' on gun sales nationwide.
A separate lawsuit is also pending, which accuses the U.S. Air Force of Negligence in not adding the shooters name to the compter database of people who are not allowed to buy firearms. He did time in a military prison on a domestic violence conviction, which disqualifis a person from legally purchasing a firearm anywhere in the U.S.