Florida Woman Sues Gun Maker in Death of Teenage Son


In mid-June 2007, a Florida woman who lost a child in an accidental shooting in 2000 was one of three people who won a settlement against a gun manufacturer. Linda Bullard’s 15-year-old son, Billy, died in their Macon, Florida home in 2000. Mrs. Bullard is due to receive an amount that has not yet been specified, but one that has been estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bullard sued RKB Investments, an umbrella partnership set up in Florida by California gun manufacturer Bruce Jennings, whose company, Bryco Arms, manufactured guns called “Saturday Night Specials.” Bullard’s attorney, Joel Grist, referred to these guns as the “Ford Pintos of firearms” and said it was great to be able to shut them down after what they had done.

Billy Bullard was killed in March 2000 after his older sister, Tiffany, legally purchased one of the guns in a local pawn shop for protection and then accidentally dropped the gun on a glass table causing it to discharge. The bullet struck her brother in the aorta, and he died on the way to a hospital.

Bullard’s attorney stated that he doesn’t expect his client or any of the other plaintiffs to see any money anytime soon as the verdict will be appealed and will likely be tied up in the courts for at least two more years.

Grist said his client’s lawsuit wasn’t an attempt to curb the rights of gun owners but to get a dangerous product off the street. Grist said, “This has nothing to do with the rights of gun owners; nobody should be able to manufacture a defective product.”