New York City's legal fight against Southern state gun sellers -- including one in Summerville -- is continuing after a federal appeals court this month upheld a default judgment against two of the retailers.
Mickalis Pawn Shop was one of the operations covered by the ruling and part of a years-old legal fight sparked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's contention that loose gun sales in 15 states flooded weapons onto New York streets.
Last week, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the judgment against the stores, agreeing they'd defaulted in their defense to Bloomberg's civil suit.
But the court also said wording that set up a "Special Master" to monitor sales at those stores was overly broad, ordering a re-write.
For example, the appeals court said the injunction not only allowed monitoring for illegal "straw purchases" of weapons but also other unidentified types of sales.
Justin Kahn, a Charleston attorney for the Summerville store, said Monday he was pleased that the appeals court agreed the injunction sought by the city "violated the rules and was improper." New York officials, meanwhile, issued a statement calling the ruling a victory because it ensures monitoring for lawful sales.
"There has been a dramatic reduction in the flow of illegal guns into the city from stores that have been monitored by the Special Master for the past three years, and the Special Master's monitorship of these two additional shops will further prevent illegally trafficked guns from getting into the hands of criminals," said Michael A. Cardozo, counsel representing New York.
Mickalis has had a long- running feud with Bloomberg, filing a defamation suit against the mayor after being referred to as a "rogue" gun dealer. That suit is still pending, Kahn said.
Mickalis in 2009 pleaded guilty to a reduced federal gun sales charge of failing to keep accurate records. He was sentenced to two years of probation. At the time of the plea, Mickalis said he had given up the Summerville business, selling it to family.