Filing Follows Court Order Denying the Company’s Requests to Dismiss One of Two Suits Seeking to Hold it Accountable for Facilitating the Illegal Trafficking of Guns
Everytown Law is Co-Counsel in Both Pending Suits
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, today responded after Jimenez Arms, Inc., the gun manufacturer named in two lawsuits for its role in supplying firearms that contributed to gun violence in Kansas City, declared bankruptcy. The Nevada-based company filed a liquidation bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Nevada.
“Kansas City families can rest a little easier knowing that a company responsible for facilitating years of illegal trafficking of guns is no longer operating,” said Alla Lefkowitz, Director of Affirmative Litigation for Everytown Law. “When firearms companies repeatedly ignore the law and facilitate gun trafficking, they bring these sorts of consequences on themselves.”
Jimenez Arms is named in two lawsuits — one brought by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and one brought by the family of Alvino Dwight Crawford, who was killed in 2016 — that allege that the company violated a host of federal gun laws when it supplied dozens of guns to a Kansas City-based gun trafficker. The Crawfords and Kansas City are represented by Everytown Law and Williams Dirks Dameron LLC of Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City is also represented by the City Attorney’s Office.
Alvino and Beverly Crawford filed suit against Jimenez Arms in June 2019 for its role in delivering firearms to a Kansas City trafficking ring that supplied the Jimenez Arms handgun that was used to kill the Crawford’s son, Dwight Crawford. In January 2020, Kansas City filed a lawsuit against Jimenez Arms alleging that, by contributing to the violent crime epidemic in Kansas City, the manufacturer had created a public nuisance. Early last week, the judge in the Crawford case denied Jimenez Arms’ motions to dismiss the case, ordering the case to go forward.
Jimenez Arms manufactured 57 of the 77 firearms allegedly trafficked between 2013 and 2018 by James Samuels, a former Kansas City firefighter. Both lawsuits allege that Samuels acted as an unlicensed gun dealer, illegally purchasing firearms and reselling those firearms to individuals he knew were unauthorized to possess them. The lawsuits also allege that, at the beginning of the trafficking scheme, Jimenez Arms sold firearms directly to Samuels despite clear signs that Samuels was acting as an unlicensed dealer.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri has charged Samuels with fourteen counts related to his trafficking in firearms. He has pled not guilty; the charges are accusations, and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
More information on the lawsuits is available here.