Despite withdrawing from the New York City lawsuit brought by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Smyrna sporting-goods store owner Jay Wallace is resolute in his conviction to fight charges against him.
In 2006, Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, owned by Wallace, was among 27 gun dealers accused by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg of providing guns used in crimes in New York City. Bloomberg called Adventure Outdoors a “rogue gun dealer” for allegedly selling guns to those who could not legally own them after private undercover agents directed by Bloomberg made a purchase at Wallace’s store.
Wallace’s trial began May 21, 2008 in New York City. On June 5, Wallace and his attorneys decided against continuing the trial and opted to accept a default judgment from the court. As soon as the judgment is made, Wallace plans to appeal the case to the Second Circuit Appeals Court — where he is confident of winning the case.
“We were not getting a fair trial,” said Wallace. “Before the trial began, the judge said the jury would be an advisory jury and that he would decide the case. We were deprived of our right to a trial by jury, and the judge’s opinion on the case is already well known — he favors gun control — and Bloomberg gets him for every case. It was a no-win situation for us.”
U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein also prohibited Wallace’s defense from calling their accuser, Mayor Bloomberg as a witness.
According to Wallace, the judge also disallowed mention of the second amendment in the courtroom.
Among issues expected to be addressed in appeal is whether New York City even has jurisdiction in the Georgia case.
Bloomberg had not been seeking a monetary settlement, but planned to
place a court-appointed “special master” in Wallace’s store to oversee gun sales.
“The gun sale in my store was legal,”said Wallace. “I have a letter from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) saying we had done nothing wrong. This is all about politics and the effort to disarm America.”
Wallace’s legal expenses have been high.
“I am out of pocket about $700,000,” said Wallace. “I am representing the industry, and I am doing it alone. I am not doing this for me, it’s for the (firearms) industry — it’s a serious issue.
“What we have here is a bored billionaire, and he has decided to go after the firearms industry. He has funded the Mayors Against Gun Violence, and they are going to start lawsuits all across the country. It is better to fight them now, collectively, than to face more lawsuits.”