Estate of Kim ex rel. Alexander v. Coxe

[TORT LAW]

In Estate of Kim ex rel. Alexander v. Coxe,[1] the supreme court held that, under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a dealer cannot knowingly violate firearm laws when a firearm is stolen.[2] After obtaining a rifle from Coxe’s store, Coday shot and killed Kim.[3] Kim’s estate sued Coxe, claiming the rifle was sold to Coday illegally.[4] Coxe, claiming the rifle was stolen, moved for summary judgment.[5] He argued that he was immune to liability because certain civil actions against a seller of firearms for actions arising from a third party’s criminal misuse of the firearm were barred by statute.[6] On appeal, Kim’s estate argued that even if Coday did steal the rifle, Coxe still knowingly violated firearm laws when he failed to administer a background check prior to Coday obtaining the rifle.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that to knowingly fail to initiate a background check would make Coxe guilty of a crime.[8] However, the court found the appellant’s argument illogical: to have such violation apply when a firearm is stolen was tantamount to requiring a completed background check prior to the unannounced theft.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that a dealer cannot knowingly violate firearm laws when a firearm is stolen.[10]


[1] 295 P.3d 380 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 394.

[3] Id. at 384.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 385.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 393.

[8] Id.

[9] Id. at 394.

[10] Id.

Estate of Kim ex rel. Alexander v. Coxe

[TORT LAW]

In Estate of Kim ex rel. Alexander v. Coxe,[1] the supreme court held that, under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a dealer cannot knowingly violate firearm laws when a firearm is stolen.[2] After obtaining a rifle from Coxe’s store, Coday shot and killed Kim.[3] Kim’s estate sued Coxe, claiming the rifle was sold to Coday illegally.[4] Coxe, claiming the rifle was stolen, moved for summary judgment.[5] He argued that he was immune to liability because certain civil actions against a seller of firearms for actions arising from a third party’s criminal misuse of the firearm were barred by statute.[6] On appeal, Kim’s estate argued that even if Coday did steal the rifle, Coxe still knowingly violated firearm laws when he failed to administer a background check prior to Coday obtaining the rifle.[7] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that to knowingly fail to initiate a background check would make Coxe guilty of a crime.[8] However, the court found the appellant’s argument illogical: to have such violation apply when a firearm is stolen was tantamount to requiring a completed background check prior to the unannounced theft.[9] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that a dealer cannot knowingly violate firearm laws when a firearm is stolen.[10]


[1] 295 P.3d 380 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 394.

[3] Id. at 384.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 385.

[6] Id.

[7] Id. at 393.

[8] Id.

[9] Id. at 394.

[10] Id.