Is gun shop liable after two officers shot? Key witness takes the stand; the man who bought the gun

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE -- A key witness in the case against Badger Guns took the stand on Monday, October 5th as a trial continued. That witness is Jacob Collins, who bought a gun from Badger Guns for his friend, Julius Burton, who could not legally buy one himself. One month later, Burton used the gun to shoot two Milwaukee police officers.

Jacob Collins

Jacob Collins

Collins served two years in prison for buying the gun illegally.

Julius Burton is serving 80 years in prison for the shooting.

At issue now is whether Badger Guns should pay the officers for allowing the sale in the first place.

Jacob Collins was 21 years old in May of 2009 when he walked into Badger Guns for the first time. Collins said he'd never been in a gun store before.

His 18-year-old friend Julius Burton was too young to buy a gun himself, and told Burton he'd pay him $40 to get him one.

During his testimony in court on Monday, Collins indicated Burton picked out the gun he wanted purchased.

Jacob Collins and Julius Burton inside Badger Guns

Jacob Collins and Julius Burton inside Badger Guns

Surveillance video from inside Badger Guns shows Burton pointing to the gun he wanted, helping Collins fill out the forms, and going to the parking lot with Collins to get more money. According to the lawyer for the officers, Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch, these were all red flags -- and Badger Guns shouldn't have made the sale.

Question asked in court: "Did you know that buying the gun for Julius was wrong?"

"No," Collins said in court.

Question asked in court: "Did you have a bad feeling?"

"I just had a bad feeling in my stomach," Collins said.

Julius Burton and Jacob Collins

Julius Burton and Jacob Collins

Despite Collins crossing out and changing answers on his gun application, he walked out of Badger Guns with a gun.

A month later, Officer Norberg and Officer Kunisch were shot with that gun -- suffering serious injuries.

Burton fired the gun after the officers stopped him for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

Officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch struggle with shooting suspect Julius Burton

Officers Bryan Norberg and Graham Kunisch struggle with shooting suspect Julius Burton

Officer Norberg also testified on Monday. He said he remembers Burton's face every night when he tries to fall asleep.

"I remember Officer Kunisch on the left side. Next thing I know -- a flash, and I realize I had been shot," Norberg said.

This is the second week of a three-week trial.

Many are watching to see if a civil jury will rule that the gun shop is liable for injuries after selling a gun to someone who shouldn't have had it.

15 comments

  • A yooper

    You can walk in and walk out with a handgun? Years ago I think there was a check and a few day wait to buy a youth 410. shotgun for my son. I think that to buy any gun you should have to have a mandatory training class. My son and I both have DNR gun safety certificates. I guess I didn’t realize how easy it is to get a handgun.

    • Opinion8d

      They just changed the 48 hour waiting period so there would have been a delay at the time. While the mandatory training would be nice, could you imagine the backlash?? People cry foul on voter id because it’s discriminatory, imagine making someone pass a test or be able to read a test -back to Jim Crow days they would say.

  • Opinion8d

    This lawsuit is just another attempt by the left to take guns and subvert the second amendment. They don’t have to ban guns if they can just sue everyone that sells and then makes them. The hypocritical thing is that they are okay in denying someone their Rights because it looks suspicious, yet have a cop stop and frisk and the ACLU is right there. If the buyer says he’s buying it for himself and answers the questions, and whose background is clean -please tell me under what legal authority you deprive them of their rights?? A hunch?? “Sorry, I know you supplied a valid ID to vote, but I’m going to have to say no because it’s suspicious that you could live in that neighborhood” -something that would never fly!!!!

    • Riversong

      What utter claptrap – taken straight from NRA talking points.
      A youth too young to buy a gun comes into a store with an older friend, points at a .40-caliber Taurus and says “That’s the one I want”. The older man doesn’t have enough money for the purchase so the two step outside the store to exchange money and immediately return to buy the gun. The “buyer” checks the box NO on the ATF form which asks where he is the real buyer, and then he changes it to YES on the advice of the store clerk.
      You can’t really be as blind or ignorant as you want us to believe.

  • Mike Johnson

    “It’s way more worser crimes going on”…. thanks alot mps another ebonics speaking leach on society. im sorry your not supposed to ride your bike on the sidewalk, nor are you supposed to conceal a gun without a conceal carry permit. That doesnt give you the right to shoot two cops. Hes lucky he only got 80 years and not a bullet in the head.

      • NH

        Why are Africans the most violent and ignorant rave on the planet? Ever notice how Africans git all crazy and start screaming when they greet each other?

      • RGBboy

        Actually Whites are. They have the most violent history the world has ever seen. First Kidnapping these so call violent african from their country and enslaving them and raping their women. Or how about the genocide of the Natives. Oh if thats not enough how about the constant invasion of neighboring countries and justifying it with patriotism. To even make that statement shows your a ignorant individual that doesn’t know history.

  • A yooper

    it is not a race thing. if I want a hand gun , I want it for a reason. My security. Then please, I want a class on how to use it. I am still shocked that this afternoon if I were ticked off at someone I could by a handgun and F up a lot of things. Yes laws are needed. Gun people… You don’t need it right now. 4 days later would be ok. Right?

  • A yooper

    to OPINION8D

    Ok to buy the gun within the rules. If you chose to sell that gun to a piece of dog s–t then you pay the price. Your name is on it. You are a accessory to the crime. If I have a gun that I don’t want I will sell it to a dealer or a very reputable person. very simple. Guns are fun if used correctly.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.