December 12, 2006

A federal judge recently appointed Jenner & Block Partner Andrew Weissmann to be the Special Master in connection with civil suits brought by the City of New York against several gun dealers.

New York City has filed two lawsuits against numerous gun dealers across the country as part of its effort to curtail the flow of illegally obtained firearms into the city.  As part of a settlement agreement with several of the dealers, Mr. Weissmann, along with Associate Joshua A. Block, will monitor their operations to ensure the dealers’ sale practices comply with federal law.  Any dealers found by Mr. Weissmann to have allowed illegal gun purchases can be required to pay various penalties. 

In the civil suits, the City alleges that dealers sold firearms without the criminal background checks required by law.  Additionally, the City alleges that many of the buyers used a scheme called “straw purchases,” where one customer would deal with the seller until the last moment of the sale when a second customer would then make a payment and pass a background check for the purchase.

Mr. Weissmann is the former Enron Task Force Director and former Chief of the Criminal Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  Joshua A. Block is an associate in the New York office of Jenner & Block, and a graduate of Yale Law School, who joined the firm after his clerkship for Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack.