A Salina gun dealer is being sued in Douglas County District Court by the widow of a man who committed suicide with a handgun he bought at a Lawrence gun show.
Kellee Nickell, Longmont, Colo., is suing James Magee, Salina, for allegedly selling a handgun to her husband, Rodney L. Nickell, on Jan. 21, 1990, at a gun show at the Lawrence Holidome. Later that day, Rodney L. Nickell shot himself to death with the gun at their Lawrence home.
Mrs. Nickell alleges Magee sold the handgun, a .22-caliber pistol, in violation of a city ordinance that requires a 72-hour waiting period between purchasing and taking possession of a handgun.
The suit contends that Magee's alleged "violation of the city ordinanace and his negligence and intentional acts . . . were a direct and proximate cause" of Nickell's death. She is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.
Magee pleaded no contest to violating the ordinance in Lawrence Municipal Court in October 1990. He was fined $150 and given a 10-day suspended jail sentence.
The city ordinance was written in 1985 after the suicide of a Kansas University student who bought a handgun and turned it on herself a short time later.