MILWAUKEE (CN) - Six Milwaukee police officers have been shot by guns sold by a single gun store: Badger Guns, "one of the most notorious gun dealers in America ... a cancerous lesion on Milwaukee," the city says in county court. The city says more than 1,800 "crime guns" were linked to the store from 2006 to 2009 - more than one a day - that Badger "accounted for roughly one-third of all crime guns traced by Milwaukee police in the preceding four years," and that its owners do not follow even "minimal procedures" to stop the flood of weapons to criminals.
Badger's "constant supply of deadly weapons to the criminal market makes it a public nuisance," the city says in Milwaukee County Court.
Joining as plaintiffs are police Officers Jose Lopez III and Alejandro Arce, who were shot by Badger guns. The city calls itself an involuntary plaintiff.
Also named as defendants are Adam J. Allan, a registered agent for Badger, a former longtime employee and the son of Walter Adam (sic), former co-owner of Badger Outdoors; Walter J. Allan, an officer, director, shareholder and owner and Badger Outdoors; Mick Beatovic of Sun City West, Ariz., an owner and manager of Badger Guns; and Jose Fernandez, who is in prison. Badger Guns aka Badger Outdoors operates out of 2339 S. 43rd St. in Milwaukee.
Fernandez, a heroin addict, acted as a straw buyer for a 15-year old, according to the complaint. The city says Badger sold him a high-powered gun with high-capacity magazines and a flash suppressor, or silencer, all of which were used to shoot the two officers just 8 days later.
Lopez and Arce were two of the six Milwaukee police officers who were shot by guns purchased at Badger from 2007 to 2009, according to the complaint.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called Badger "a cancerous lesion on Milwaukee ... and the poison it creates is seeping onto our streets and causing havoc."
Chief Flynn told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last week: "Our officers have every right to seek relief from the civil courts just as much as they have a right to expect justice from the criminal courts. I wish them well as they attempt to affix accountability for their wounds."
The City says that Badger has changed its name repeatedly to try duck its stigma as "the number one crime gun dealer in America."
The complaint states: "Badger Guns is one of the most notorious gun dealers in America. Operating under the names Badger Guns, Badger Outdoors, and Badger Guns & Ammo (hereinafter 'Badger'), Badger's constant supply of deadly weapons to the criminal market makes it a public nuisance. Badger has ranked as the number one crime gun dealer in America, selling more guns traced to crime in a year than any other dealer. Badger has frequently sold an average of more than one crime gun every day of the year - an average of more than 10 a week. Badger has sold firearms in violation of state and federal law and engaged in unlawful straw sales. Badger has repeated[ly] been cited by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (STF) for violating federal gun laws. Badger has accounted for two-thirds of all the crime guns recovered in Milwaukee. In recent years, 90% of straw buyers prosecuted in Milwaukee purchased their guns at Badger. All told, Badger has sold more than 4,000 crime guns."