Juneau gun shop owner at heart of AK Supreme Court case
Posted: March 5, 2012 - 12:02am
By EMILY RUSSO MILLER
On Aug. 2, 2006, a man walked into Rayco Sales gun shop in Juneau and asked to look at a .22 caliber rifle. The store owner, Ray Coxe, and the man examined and talked about the gun together, and Coxe gave the man a quote — $195.
The man didn’t buy the gun and picked up his backpack as if to leave the store. When Coxe walked into the back of the store, the man, later identified as Jason Coday, took the rifle and left two $100 bills on the counter.
Two days later, the man used the rifle to murder a 26-year-old man working at the Juneau Fred Meyer whom he had never met before in an unprovoked attack. It was Juneau’s first murder in five years.
Was it an illegal sale off the books? The question now goes before the Alaska Supreme Court. Or rather, the question of whether that should be a question for a jury to decide now goes before the Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the matter were held last week in Juneau.
Jonathan Lowy with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., who is co-counsel with Mark Choate on behalf of the family of the murdered Simone Young Kim, argued that Coxe sells guns off the books then later claims that they are missing. Lowy said a previous audit of Rayco Sales found 200 guns missing from the inventory.
“To put that in context, 90 percent of gun dealers have zero guns missing from inventory,” Lowy said. “ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), they looked at the worst of the worst as far as gun dealers in this country. Out of 800,000 gun dealers, they found 16 in the entire nation who had that sort of total.”