Judge Rules in 'Disneyland for Gun Lovers' Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit against the Front Sight Firearms Training Institute near Pahrump may be close to a settlement. A judge's ruling has prompted the two sides to start talking.

Three front sight members filed a class action lawsuit last November, each with the same goal to ensure the survival of the organization while forcing it to make good on its promises.

Nine months later their attorney says they may have just hit their mark.

Dr. Ignatius Piazza, Front Sight's creator, billed the 550-acre master planned community as a Disneyland for gun enthusiasts.

Piazza said, "The vision out here at Front Sight is to have the safest town in America."

Thousands of people bought in with memberships ranging in price from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most were guaranteed a lifetime of weapons training and six figure deals, called platinum memberships, promised a one-acre homesite.

Dr. Piazza said, "At some point in the future when the development is completed, they'll have access to a one-acre home site and we'll deed it out to them."

Bill Haag thought he'd retire on the range. But one year became three, became five with his dream home no closer to completion.

Attorney Keith Greer said, "That's what happened here. Piazza took other people's money for investment capital to start his operation and when he got it up and running he hung them out to dry. There's been no water, no roads, no grating, no electricity."

In November 2005, Greer filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Haag and two other members. In it he charged fraud, racketeering and misappropriation of funds by Piazza and the organization.

After months of litigation in federal court, a judge ruled Front Sight could no longer sell memberships without court approval.

Settlement discussions began the same day.

Greer continued, "We tried to structure things so that the end result would end up helping both sides. Give the members the security they were looking for and the company the security it was looking for to maintain its position in the market."

Greer won't discuss specifics only to say the tentative agreement will benefit all members. Like Haag, who believed in the "Disneyland for Gun Lovers" and only to ended up feeling taken for a ride.

The judge stayed his order for 90 days to give both sides time to work out a deal, which means Front Sight can sell memberships unless settlement talks break down.

The next hearing is scheduled for October 2006, but Greer tells the I-Team he hopes to have an announcement soon.

Send feedback t oI-Team reporter Colleen McCarty at cmccarty@klastv.com


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