Gun maker files for bankruptcy following Kansas City lawsuit

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Nevada-based gun manufacturer filed for bankruptcy after Kansas City sued the company over weapons trafficking last month.

In the Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed Feb. 10, Jimenez Arms listed assets of less than $50,000 and outstanding liabilities that surpass $1 million, KCUR-FM reported.

This could pose a challenge for the city should it successfully recover compensation in its lawsuit.

The city sued Jimenez in January, alleging that the gun trafficking created a public nuisance in Kansas City, which has one of America’s highest homicide rates.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said it’s the first such lawsuit filed against the gun industry in more than 10 years.

The lawsuit joins — and shares many allegations with — an existing wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Alvino “Dwight” Crawford, who was killed in 2016 by a bullet from an allegedly trafficked Jimenez handgun.

Last week, a Jackson County judge denied dual motions by Jimenez to dismiss the Crawfords’ suit.

Everytown Law is a branch of the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which is backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. It helped with both lawsuits against Jimenez.

“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, an attorney for the organization. “When firearm companies repeatedly ignore the law and facilitate gun trafficking they bring these sort of consequences on themselves.”

In 2017, Jimenez made over 26,000 handguns, according to a 2019 report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group. Jimenez ranked 20th out of 104 listed manufacturers.