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Everytown Law Announces Settlement with Gun Dealer That Sold Gun Used in Kansas City Murder

2.19.2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, announced today that a Jackson County judge has approved a settlement agreement between the parents of Alvino Dwight Crawford and Green Tip Arms, the gun dealer that sold the firearm used to kill their son in 2016. The settlement is part of a case filed by the Crawfords in June 2019, alleging that Green Tip Arms and manufacturer Jimenez Arms aided and abetted a gun trafficking ring run by a former Kansas City firefighter. Jimenez Arms filed for bankruptcy earlier this month after losing two motions to dismiss the Crawfords’ case.

Under the settlement agreement, Green Tip Arms, currently based in Arizona, has agreed to stop selling firearms, to surrender its federal firearms license to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and to dissolve the company. Christopher Bendet, the owner of Green Tip Arms, has agreed not to sell firearms for profit at any time in the future and that any firearms sold from his personal collection will be subject to a background check.

“In cities around the country, senseless violence is perpetrated by people who often find access to guns illegally from straw purchasers and gun dealers who operate outside the law. This agreement is an important step towards holding Green Tip Arms and its ownership accountable for their actions,” said Alvino and Beverly Crawford, the parents of Alvino Dwight Crawford. “Dwight’s life was precious and priceless, and Green Tips Arms fell short of a moral compass about the potential impact of its decisions. To protect other families from experiencing the enduring pain of loss as we have, we hope this action conveys a message to other gun dealers who chose to conduct business irresponsibly and without regard for human life.”

“Firearms sellers have clear legal obligations not to ignore signs of gun trafficking, and failing to meet these responsibilities can have deadly results,” said Alla Lefkowitz, Director of Affirmative Litigation for Everytown Law. “This should be a reminder to other gun dealers that they can be held accountable for decisions that put the public at risk.”

The Crawford’s lawsuit alleges that gun manufacturer Jimenez Arms, gun dealer Green Tip Arms, and alleged gun trafficker James Samuels contributed to the wrongful death of their son, Alvino Dwight Crawford (who went by Dwight). The Crawfords contend that the defendants participated in, facilitated, and profited from an illegal gun trafficking ring. Between 2013 and 2018, dozens of illegal firearms flowed into the Kansas City area because of the trafficking ring, including the firearm used to murder Dwight on July 5, 2016.

The lawsuit alleges that James Samuels acted as an unlicensed gun dealer, illegally purchasing firearms and reselling them to individuals he knew were unauthorized to possess them. On April 7, 2016, Green Tip Arms sold the murder weapon to James Samuels, as part of a multiple-sales transaction. This was the eighth transaction that Green Tip Arms conducted with Samuels since meeting him at a gun show less than four months prior. On April 30, 2016 Samuels returned to Green Tip Arms with a straw purchaser that he had used previously and transferred the same firearm to her. Two months later, an associate of the straw purchaser used the firearm to kill Dwight.
Everytown Law represents Dwight Crawford’s parents, along with attorneys from Williams Dirks Dameron LLC of Kansas City, Missouri. More information on the lawsuit is available here.