Jimenez Arms, Inc. of Henderson manufactures affordable, small-caliber blowback operated pistols. Many of us have pocket .22s or remember older guns under the "Bryco" or "Jennings" names derisively called Saturday Night Specials.
Jimenez was sued by Kansas City, Missouri, because, supposedly, its guns were a public nuisance because the cheap weapons are popular with criminals. A disgraced fire captain started the whole thing by illegally selling firearms and surprise, criminals got ahold of them.
These lawsuits against manufacturers are nothing but a cheap attempt at trying to overturn or nullify the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) which was intended to shield gun companies from being sued out of business because criminals used the guns. It's sorta like keeping car companies from being sued by ambulance chasers because drivers kill people when they drive drunk or speed.
The company recently filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7 is usually a liquidation of the business in order to discharge outstanding debts. This is not like Chapter 11 which is generally a restructuring to allow the business to continue and dig itself out.
It appears that business troubles are the issue. The company listed assets of less than $50,000 and liabilities (debts) in excess of $1 million. If I had to guess, the economy has made higher quality handguns more affordable and the market for the small guns has diminished. Everytown's lawsuit didn't put them out of business, but now there's nothing for the bloodsucking leaches to grab at. Maybe bankruptcy was a tactic here?
The Jimenez arms family has a history of bankruptcy. The company began life as Jennings Arms, founded by Bruce Jennings. His father, George Jennings, founded Raven Arms, which manufactured a similar cheap pistol design, loathed by gun controllers. It's worth pointing out at this time that the push to ban Saturday Night Specials in the late '60s, '70s, and '80s was really just a way to disarm blacks, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.
Jennings went bankrupt and became Bryco Arms. A safety flaw in the .380 pistol's design lead to a situation where an idiot pointing the gun at a child unintentionally shot the child. While the design was defective, if idiot followed the cardinal rules of gun safety, namely keeping one's finger off the trigger and never pointing the gun at someone, the child wouldn't have been shot.
After Bryco went bankrupt, former foreman Paul Jimenez bought the company, renamed it after himself, and moved it to Henderson, NV, in 2006. While the company might be going out of business, the venerable JA-22 and its siblings will probably make a comeback, as per the company history. You can't deny people affordable guns just because the price point is attractive to criminals as well.
I hate to break it to Everytown, but their lawyer's quote in the News Tribune is crap.
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.
The design will surely be resurrected. Other guns will be made and sold. And even if all of the gun companies went out of business, there will still be thousands of JA-series guns out there and millions more.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West