Wortham lawsuit settled with Mississippi gun dealer

The parents of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV settled a lawsuit with a pawnshop over the gun used to kill him.
April 23, 2014 3:42:25 PM PDT
The parents of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV settled a lawsuit with a Mississippi pawnshop over the gun used to kill their son.

Officer Wortham, 30, was fatally shot on May 19, 2010, outside his parent's South Side home during an attempted robbery. Officials said gang members tried to steal the Iraq veteran's motorcycle.

The 45 caliber semi-automatic handgun used to kill Wortham was traced back to a Chicago gun trafficker. That trafficker paid a Mississippi resident who had a clean criminal to purchase it at Ed's Pawn Shop as a straw purchase.

"We recognize most dealers do practice responsible rules and regulations and they adhere to the law. But for those few who don't, they need to be put on notice," Carolyn Wortham, mother, said.

The settlement means the pawn shop has agreed to concessions that go beyond the law. An attorney for the Worthams released a statement:

"This litigation has been resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. All parties to this litigation are pleased to announce that the agreed settlement will insure that policies at the Archer family business will exceed those currently dictated by state and federal laws regarding handgun sales. All parties agree that reasonable provisions to prevent illegal attempts to purchase firearms should be in place wherever guns are sold. The agreed policies will include the video recording of all handgun sales; three year storage of the video recordings of all handgun sales; and immediate notification to the local and federal authorities of any multiple handgun purchases that occur within any thirty day period."

Carolyn and Thomas Wortham, III, said the lawsuit was never about money; just responsibility.

"I believe if all gun dealers did this, it would stop the proliferation of guns in Chicago and the nation," Thomas Wortham, III, said. "There is no one way to solve problems we're having right now with the violence we're seeing every day. This is one part of the solution."

"This is just the beginning. This is not the end. This is just the beginning," Thomas Wortham, III, said.


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