Skip to Main Content

Buffalo Victims Lawsuit Moves Forward

GIFFORDS Law Center is representing several victims and families of the mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market in May 2022.

New York, NY — GIFFORDS Law Center, the legal arm of the gun violence prevention group GIFFORDS, released the following statement after the Supreme Court of Erie County ruled to allow its wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of victims and survivors of the racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, to proceed. Filed with the Law Office of John V. Elmore PC and Social Media Victims Law Center, the defendants include social media companies and firearms companies. 

The lawsuit alleges that MEAN L.L.C., a manufacturer in Woodstock, Georgia, which sells the MEAN MA Lock, is responsible for helping the Tops shooter obtain an assault weapon with an easily removable magazine “lock” that allowed him to use multiple, deadly large-capacity magazines during his massacre. MEAN L.L.C. moved to dismiss the claims made against it, invoking the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA). PLCAA strips courts of jurisdiction against gun companies in certain circumstances, but notably does not apply where a gun company has violated state or federal law, or where an accessory to a firearm is at issue.

Leigh Rome, Senior Litigation Attorney, GIFFORDS Law Center:

“For too long the gun lobby has hidden behind industry protections, claiming that they cannot face consequences simply because they sell guns. Today’s decision proves that firearms companies that break the law will be held accountable. No one is above the law, and if a gun company’s wrongdoing hurts other people, survivors will have their day in court. We still have a long way to go to get justice for the lives lost on that horrific day at Tops Friendly Market, but this is an enormous step forward. 

“Thank you to our co-counsel, the Law Office of John V. Elmore and the Social Media Victims Law Center, for their work in securing this critical win.”

Kelly Percival, Litigation Attorney, GIFFORDS Law Center:

“This is a big step forward in the fight for justice for the survivors and families of those killed in Buffalo. It’s proof that PLCAA doesn’t block legal action when gun companies act illegally. We look forward to working with the Law Office of John V. Elmore and the Social Media Victims Law Center as we continue to fight for justice.” 

John V. Elmore and Kristen Elmore-Garcia, Law Office of John V. Elmore PC:

“Judge Feroleto made the right decision. The MA ‘lock’ is not an integral part of a firearm. We look forward to continuing to pursue justice on behalf of our clients.”


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at