- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Last year, Nathaniel Brazill was sentenced to 28 years behind bars for killing his teacher. Now the gun he used in the murder is the centerpiece of a lawsuit that seeks to get cheap guns off the streets.
The design of the .25-caliber Raven handgun will be on trial this week as the widow of Brazill's victim pushes her case against its distributor, saying the gun is unreasonably dangerous and lacks safety devices that would prevent a minor from using it.
The case, brought by Pam Grunow, has drawn national attention because it is the first to address both the pistol's absence of a gun lock and the flaws associated with a cheap, easily concealable weapon.
Valor Corp., the gun's distributor with 14,000 licensed firearms dealers nationwide, maintains the gun did what it was designed to do when it fired a bullet.
"With any gun, if you pull the trigger, it will go off," said Valor attorney John Renzulli. "You set this gun on a table and it doesn't go off. You don't pull the trigger and it doesn't go off."
Mrs. Grunow's attorney compared their case with lawsuits against large tobacco companies. Initially, they said, the public believed a similar premise: People who bought cigarettes knew they were dangerous.
"But the more people learned about what the tobacco industry did and about how they could have done things to make cigarettes safer, the tide turned," said Allen Rostron, an attorney for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Brazill was 13 when he killed 35-year-old English teacher Barry Grunow in Lake Worth Middle School on May 26, 2000. Brazill was convicted last year of second-degree murder.

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