Adventure Outdoors Ready To Move Even As Mayor Bloomberg Suit Drags On
Five-year-old case brought on by New York City mayor continues as the family owned independent firearms dealer prepares to move into a 7,800 square-foot superstore.
Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna is moving despite an ongoing lawsuit with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The sporting goods superstore has outgrown its current location at 2295 South Cobb Drive and is moving down the street to the vacant Bruno’s supermarket building.
Bloomberg sued Adventure Outdoors and 26 other gun distributors throughout the Southeast and midwest in 2006. In the suit, Bloomberg claimed that Adventure Outdoors violated federal regulations when it knowingly permitted straw transactions, which the federal government defines as a gun dealer knowingly selling firearms to a proxy who then gives them to a person who can’t legally purchase guns. These guns were then used to commit crimes in New York, Bloomberg claimed.
To Jason Wallace, whose family owns Adventure Outdoors, that doesn’t make sense.
“If you sell me your car, and then I hit someone with it in the parking lot, how is that your fault?” he asked.
The appeals process has taken five years over which time Adventure Outdoors has spent more than $1 million in legal fees, Wallace said. Adventure Outdoors is also suing Bloomberg for libel after the mayor said at a news conference that the gun dealers had “New Yorkers’ blood on their hands.”
“It’s a slow and very costly process, which is, in my opinion, why he sued the ‘Mom and Pop’ gun dealers,” Wallace said. “He didn’t sue Bass Pro. He didn’t sue Dick’s because they’ll sic their team of lawyers on him in a heartbeat.”
Wallace is confident now that the appeal has reached the federal level.
“The federal appeals court should come on with whatever they decide in the next couple of months, which if the past predicts the future, whenever Bloomberg has sued the gun manufacturers and gun distributers, the federal court has said you have no jurisdiction and threw it out,” he said.
The lawsuit hasn’t kept Adventure Outdoor’s business from expanding. Eric Wallace, co-owner of Adventure Outdoors, said they plan to move to the new location in late summer just in time for the start of the September 1 hunting season.
The new larger location will be 7,800 square feet once remodeling is complete and will feature a banquet hall, shooting range, virtual archery range and the South’s largest gun department, said Eric Wallace.
Wallace intends to rent the banquet hall to civic groups like Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club and Friends of the NRA. They also plan to hold seminars on gun safety and training.
“It’s kind of a multi-use facility for the banquet hall,” he said.
The new Adventure Outdoors location will also feature a restaurant.
“Well we’re going to have a restaurant named the Remington Café, which will mostly be a lunch menu,” Wallace said. “One of our busiest times of the day is during lunch. People come in on their lunch hour, eat, maybe shoot and do some shopping.”