Milwaukee gun store settles with two police officers: local media

By Brendan and O'Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Milwaukee gun store will pay $1 million to settle a case with two police officers who were shot with a handgun that it allowed to be acquired illegally in 2009, issuing a rare legal defeat for the gun industry, local media reported on Friday.

A Milwaukee County jury in October found Badger Guns negligent and awarded $6 million to the Milwaukee policemen wounded by a suspect who obtained the weapon through a so-called straw purchase at the store.

The settlement reached on Friday resolves the case without lengthy appeals of the jury verdict. James Vogts, a lawyer for the gun store, confirmed the settlement to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Graham Kunisch, who has since retired, will receive $216,000 and Bryan Norberg will get $74,000, the Journal Sentinel reported. The rest of the money will go to the city of Milwaukee, the officers' law firm and court costs, it said.

Vogts and Patrick Dunphy, attorney for Kunisch and Norberg, were not immediately available for comment.

The gun store's defeat was the first of its kind since the U.S. Congress in 2005 approved a law making gun manufacturers and suppliers immune to lawsuits with few exceptions.

Julius Burton, who pleaded guilty to attempted homicide, shot Norberg and Kunisch in June 2009 when the officers tried to arrest him. Burton used a handgun a friend had bought for him at the store because he was not old enough to buy a firearm.

Burton's friend, Jacob Collins, pleaded guilty to federal charges for the straw purchase.