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NOHO SHOOTOUT GUN SHOP GOES BANKRUPT.



Byline: Brent Hopkins Staff Writer

NORTH HOLLYWOOD - B&B Sales, the well-known San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.
 gun store that helped arm police during the 1997 North Hollywood bank robbery The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
Bank robbery is the crime of robbing a bank.
 shootout Shootout

Venture capital jargon. Refers to two or more venture capital firms fighting for the startup.
, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Thursday.

Previously, the chain hoped to emerge from reorganization under Chapter 11 protection from its creditors, but was unable to turn a profit and instead elected to liquidate To pay and settle the amount of a debt; to convert assets to cash; to aggregate the assets of an insolvent enterprise and calculate its liabilities in order to settle with the debtors and the creditors and apportion the remaining assets, if any, among the stockholders or owners of the .

``I'm shocked,'' said Rick Kaumeyer, a West Hills fraud investigator who has been buying firearms there for more than a decade. ``They were always there for the community, and I'm sad to see them go.''

At its peak, B&B was one of Southern California's premier gun sellers, from its flagship North Hollywood location and a second in Westminster. Both locations closed Thursday.

According to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 Bankruptcy Court bankruptcy court n. the specialized Federal court in which bankruptcy matters under the Federal Bankruptcy Act are conducted. There are several bankruptcy courts in each state, and each one's territory covers several counties.  filings, revenues topped out at $23 million during its heyday, when 50 employees staffed its two stores. At its North Hollywood location on Oxnard Street, target shooters and law enforcement personnel alike stocked up from a wide selection of handguns, rifles and shotguns.

The Los Angeles Police Department "LAPD" and "L.A.P.D." redirect here. For other uses, see LAPD (disambiguation).

This article or section is written like an .
 became B&B's most visible consumer during the notorious North Hollywood shootout The North Hollywood shootout was an armed confrontation between two heavily-armed and armored bank robbers, Larry Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu, and patrol and SWAT officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in North Hollywood, California on February 28, 1997. , when cops borrowed high-powered semiautomatic rifles and shotguns from the dealer to do battle with body-armored bank robbers who had superior firepower.

B&B later auctioned off the guns and donated proceeds to the LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department.
 Memorial Fund.

But while the company remained a high-profile dealer, its finances were in turmoil.

In 1993, relations between its founders, brothers Bob and Barry Kahn, soured. This led to litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself; a judicial contest; any dispute.

When a person begins a civil lawsuit, the person enters into a process called litigation.
 between the two over control of the company in 1994, eventually leading to a settlement in 1997 that left the business in the hands of Bob Kahn
For the composer, see Robert Kahn (composer).


Robert E. Kahn, (born December 23 1938) invented the TCP protocol, and along with Vinton G. Cerf created the IP protocol, the technologies used to transmit information on the Internet.
 and his wife, Kathleen. It also racked up $1.75 million in legal and accounting fees, the first cited cause of the bankruptcy.

According to the filing, at this time, Barry Kahn engaged in illegal activities that would have endangered B&B's licenses and which later got him locked up in federal prison. The filing further alleges that he bought substantial inventory against Bob Kahn's wishes, which then had to be liquidated at a loss for $425,000. Bad investments followed, and all the while the company found itself with increasing legal headaches.

Beyond that, anti-gun legislation by the city has hurt.

``Gun businesses are dropping like flies in the city of Los Angeles
For the city, see Los Angeles, California.
The City of Los Angeles was a streamlined passenger train jointly operated by the Chicago and North Western Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad.
,'' said Chuck Michel, a spokesman for the California Rifle and Pistol Association and a lawyer who represented B&B in past lawsuits. ``They have ridiculous taxes, ridiculous expenses and it's impossible to find employees to get their permits approved. The simple truth is that they've litigated this store to death, which is what they always wanted to do.''

Two of B&B's past legal difficulties are cited in the filing. A lawsuit filed by various municipalities in 1999, prosecuting various dealers and manufacturers as contributing to a public nuisance public nuisance n. a nuisance which affects numerous members of the public or the public at large, as distinguished from a nuisance which only does harm to a neighbor or a few private individuals. , tied up more funds in legal fees. Last March, agents from the California Department of Justice raided both of B&B's facilities, alleging that the dealer had defrauded gun buyers.

``B&B believes that these acts were a blatant, premeditated pre·med·i·tat·ed  
adj.
Characterized by deliberate purpose, previous consideration, and some degree of planning: a premeditated crime.
 and orchestrated or·ches·trate  
tr.v. or·ches·trat·ed, or·ches·trat·ing, or·ches·trates
1. To compose or arrange (music) for performance by an orchestra.

2.
 attempt to destroy B&B,'' the filing reads.

Hallye Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, disputed this, saying the department had turned up numerous complaints that the firm had charged buyers for personal transfers of firearms, a transaction that should be free.

``We got some complaints from consumers that they were being charged these fees, then we did some sting operations where our agents were overcharged, as well,'' Jordan said. ``We talked to the owners and advised them that was illegal. They were warned, which is what led to the search warrants being served.''

All these factors led the company to file for Chapter 11 protection last August, attorney Jeffrey Shinbrot said, when B&B sought to reorganize its finances. Things even looked up for a bit, when interest in guns rallied after Sept. 11.

``After the Sept. 11 attacks, the revenues increased dramatically, which made them apparently profitable through the end of October,'' Shinbrot said. ``However, the increase in sales diminished and the business was not profitable.''

That's when lawyers changed their petition to Chapter 7, permitting a liquidation of the company's assets.

Kahn told the Daily News last month that Assembly Bill 106, which went into effect Jan. 1 and which requires trigger locks for all guns sold in California, hurt business further. Since the devices were in short supply, his sales were severely curtailed, which Shinbrot said was a factor in the decision to liquidate.

Kahn declined comment Thursday.

Other local gun dealers agreed that tougher gun laws made business difficult.

``I'd have to agree that they're trying to make it difficult on us, but our business has been relatively pretty good,'' said Gene Lumsden, vice president of operations for Turner's Outdoorsman. ``I think they're running out of things to do. The only thing they can do is finally say we just don't want you to own guns anymore, and then people will know what their true agenda is.''

Sam Rosenfeld, store manager of Collateral Loans Inc., a pawn shop a shop where a pawnbroker does business.
- Shak.

See also: Pawn
 in Reseda, agreed.

``You would not believe the various and sundry taxes and fees, surcharges and licenses - they call them all kinds of different names,'' he said. ``What they're trying to do is tax us out of the business.''

But according to Stuart Adler, assistant manager of The Firing Line, a gun shop and firing range in Northridge, the laws don't restrict business to impossible levels.

``It's a lot of pain, but we're seeing a good rate of gun sales,'' he said. ``People resent the fact they need to buy a lock, but a good salesman's a good salesman. I'm a conservative, but I don't think anything will happen. It's difficult, but I think that the laws are OK. Some of them just aren't implemented well.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) B&B Sales, the gun store made famous in the 1997 North Hollywood shootout, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Andy Holzman/Staff Photographer
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 15, 2002
Words:1016
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