Press Release

December 3, 1999

Jubi Headley, Public Affairs
(202) 861-6766
(202) 744-9337 cell

Conference’s Legal Counsel Urges Second Amendment Foundation to Dismiss Frivolous Civil Suit

Today J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director of The United States Conference of Mayors, authorized release of the following letter, drafted by Mr. Brian Harvey, Esq., legal counsel for the Conference. The letter was drafted in response to a complaint filed by The Second Amendment Foundation this past Monday in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The Conference is named as a defendant in the complaint.

The text of the correspondence follows.

December 7, 1999

Richard E. Gardiner, Esq.
10560 Main Street
Suite 404
Fairfax, VA 22030

Dear Mr. Gardiner:

We were surprised and disappointed to see that you named our client, The United States Conference of Mayors, as a defendant in the civil complaint you signed and filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on November 30, 1999.

Contrary to the complaint, USCM is not a party to any civil action, anywhere, against any firearms manufacturer, distributor, retailer or trade association -- or, for that matter, against any other person or entity. As you probably know, the civil actions you refer to in the November 30 complaint were brought by various local governmental entities -- not by USCM.

The policy positions of USCM on matters concerning firearms are stated in resolutions adopted at the USCM Annual Meeting in New Orleans in June 1999. The resolutions are fully set forth at the USCM website at . We urge you to consult that source, if you have not yet done so.

In accordance with the resolutions, USCM has advocated federal legislation on the topic of firearms. Civil litigation is not part of the USCM agenda.

USCM is proud to serve as a forum for discussion by mayors of our nation’s cities on all issues affecting urban policy, however controversial. To suggest, as your November 30 complaint appears to do, that the activities of USCM in advocating federal legislation somehow exposes USCM to civil liability is offensive to First Amendment freedoms and, we submit, is frivolous. Naming USCM as a defendant in the complaint you have presented to the Court can only serve to harass USCM and cause needless increase in the cost of litigation. The claims against USCM are not warranted by any non-frivolous legal argument, and the factual contentions of the complaint are without evidentiary support.

We ask that you dismiss the claims against USCM forthwith, pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. USCM reserves all rights and defenses, including its rights under Rule 11, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and under other applicable law, to recover its fees and expenses in defending this matter.

If you have any questions, please call me.



Brian S. Harvey

The U. S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.