Federal Lawsuit Filed v. Armslist.com In Death of Chicago Police Cmdr.

Shomari Legghette, 44, is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer on Feb. 13, 2018. (Cook County sheriff's office)
Shomari Legghette, 44, is charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer on Feb. 13, 2018. (Cook County sheriff’s office)

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- The Chicago Tribune is reporting that a federal lawsuit has been filed against Armslist.com by the widow of slain Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer, with support of the Brady gun-control organization.

Bauer was killed in February 2018 allegedly by a convicted felon identified as Shomari Legghette, using a pistol that, according to the report and the lawsuit, “passed along through both licensed and private sales until it wound up in the hands” of the suspect, who could not legally possess a firearm.

The pistol was identified as a 9mm Glock 26, according to published reports.

AmmoLand spoke exclusively with Armslist founder and CEO Jon Gibbon, who stated emphatically, “Armslist does not sell firearms, nor does it facilitate sales. We do not get involved in transactions,” Gibbon insisted. “If anyone claims we do, they are defaming me and the organization. All we do is run a website.”

The Chicago Sun-Times said the lawsuit was filed in Milwaukee Wednesday by Bauer’s widow, Erin, and the nonprofit Brady organization. The group was formerly known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Gibbon said this is not the first time he has faced a lawsuit backed by the Brady group. When he spoke to AmmoLand, he said he had not yet been served with notice of the lawsuit.

“We provide a forum for people to talk about firearms and the Second Amendment, and items they may want to buy or sell,” Gibbon said. “It’s not like we’re trying to help bad people. We have over 1,000 FFLs (federally-licensed firearms retailers) who use our Armslist site to advertise their inventory.”

But in this specific case, the Glock pistol allegedly passed through “both licensed and private sales” until the suspect allegedly bought it without a background check.

Armslist prominently displays this message on its website:

“Always comply with local, state, federal, and international law. ARMSLIST does not become involved in transactions between parties. Review our privacy policy and terms of use for more information. Report Illegal Firearms Activity to 1-800-ATF-GUNS.”

According to Gibbon, Armslist has been “around for about ten years.”

The Sun-Times story said the pistol was sold by 68-year-old Thomas Caldwell, a resident of Madison, Wis., to a Milwaukee resident identified as Ron Jones in 2017. The newspaper said the gun then “found its way through the ‘criminal marketplace’ to Legghette, who was carrying the weapon and wearing body armor as he fled from police” on the day of the fatal encounter. Legghette reportedly “encountered Bauer near the (James R.) Thompson Center,” a prominent Chicago landmark building in the city’s Loop District. There allegedly was a struggle in a stairwell, during which Bauer was fatally shot.

According to the Tribune account, the pistol was first sold “at a small shop in south-central Wisconsin” in December 2011. Four years later, in March 2015, Caldwell bought the gun from the original purchaser, the newspaper detailed. Two years later, Caldwell sold the pistol to “a Milwaukee man with ties to Chicago after they met over Armslist,” the Tribune said. That man turned out to be Jones, whom Caldwell reportedly knew as “Kevin Sweepee,” according to a Tribune story published in October 2018 detailing Caldwell’s unlicensed gun transactions.

The current Tribune story, published Thursday, described Caldwell as “a Vietnam war veteran diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder” causing him to engage in “illegal gun sales, which he had described as an addiction.” An Associated Press report from 2018 said Caldwell had been warned by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to stop selling firearms without a license.

Legghette’s murder trial is scheduled to begin later this month, the Sun-Times reported. In a Tribune report from 2018, Legghette is described as having “a criminal history stretching back more than two decades.”

Caldwell, the Madison resident, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018, while Jones “appears set to plead guilty to federal gun and drug charges next month, according to court records,” the newspaper reported.

Quoting from the lawsuit, the Tribune story noted, “The Armslist Defendants knew or should have known their actions would foreseeably supply Prohibited Purchasers like Legghette,’ the lawsuit reads. ‘If the Armslist Defendants had acted with reasonable care — instead of callous and willful disregard for human life — Commander Bauer would still be alive.”

A statement on the Armslist website under a link titled “Get Involved” explains, “We do our best to provide a free service to the law-abiding gun owners of this Great Nation. The Brady Campaign is doing everything they can to stop us.”

The notice goes on to assert that statements about Armslist are “full of lies” that accuse users “of being a bunch of criminals.”

“This case is yet another misplaced example of focusing on the gun, and not the evil killer. Chicago has some of the strictest gun control in the country, including firearm identification cards and background checks on all transfers, yet these gun control laws still failed to stop the killer.” Jordan Stein, Director of Communications GOA.



About Dave WorkmanDave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books #add on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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Nathan Shiba

This is a very fair article, and for that I thank you. Those who don’t think that private sales like the one described above and facilitated by Armslist and other online sources don’t lead to criminals getting guns are fooling themselves. I’m a gun owner for nearly 40 years and have purchased and sold guns privately, but always through a registered dealer. Private sales and transfers, other than those within an immediate family, should not be allowed without a licensed intermediary. The ease with which this criminal purchased the gun that killed Commander Bauer is appalling. I’ll be sitting in… Read more »

Deplorable Bill

Nathan; With all due respect, the second amendment says; “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall NOT BE INFRINGED.” The murder of the C.O. has nothing to do with delaying or denying a American’s citizen his GOD given, constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, nor does it give any legitimate reasoning to punish anyone but the murderer, not the firearm maker, the ammo maker, not his brother or sister or any other relative. I can assure you that if a firearm was not available to the dirt bag, there are many more ways to… Read more »

Nathan Shiba

I don’t disagree at all with your concern that a lack of moral grounding and stewardship leads to the type of person who would take a life with a gun, knife, or any other implement that would do the job. Gun violence is essentially non-existent in England, yet we hear of high-profile stabbings fairly regularly. The problem is that a gun and bullet are uniquely well suited to doing great bodily harm. There’s a reason I keep a Sig affixed with a Surefire, and filled with V-Crowns in my home. Should I ever need to pull that firearm, my intent… Read more »

Nathan Shiba

Ok, have a great day,.

Nathan Shiba

C’mon, you know that “private” in this context means a transaction between two individuals rather than through a dealer. What you’re describing is an anonymous sale which I believe is a big pipe through which people who can’t legally own guns, get guns.

BobS

Will the Brady Bunch leave the cop’s widow hanging, like they bankrupted the Phillips family with legal fees owed to Lucky Gunner?

“For practical purposes, the Brady Campaign should pay the legal costs. For political purposes, it’s better for [Brady] if they do not. What better way for Brady to play up the martyr angle for the Phillipses?”
nationalreview dot com/2017/08/aurora-lawsuit-brady-campaign/

Core

Left has gone nuts. Sue, ban, sue, ban, profile, bypass due process, abuse, abuse, abuse. When will good men and women stand up and reclaim our inferior courts?

Ej harbet

What stops killers is being made dead! By the state,from a cop,from one of us! After they assume room temp they never kill again. Im a big fan of you kill you die and three strikes and dead.

bobsmyuncle

I always love this argument
“the lawsuit reads. ‘If the Armslist Defendants had acted with reasonable care — instead of callous and willful disregard for human life — Commander Bauer would still be alive.””
As if Armslist didn’t exist the perp would have no clue as to where to get a handgun. What a bunch of sanctimonious ignoramouses.

james

Don’t worry, I’ll get you something, I’ll file a motion and they will settle out of court.

james

If a woman runs an ad in a newspaper for a hit man, is the newspaper responsible for the man being murdered by the gun for hire? NO.

JDL

Sounds to me that a countersuit for defamation, slander, and libel is in order for Armslist. Perhaps they can completely dissolve the Brady bunch.

PMinFl

Why don’t they sue the judges who put this twenty year criminal back on the street?

Ej harbet

If enough of us had your mindset these scum would be executed or locked up permanently.
Id prefer executing

StLPro2A

“Gun violence” (really Defective Citizen Violence) must be controlled. We should try a law…..How about God’s “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Ooops, tried that, didn’t work. How about man’s Murder 1; Murder 2; Manslaughter. There that will do it. Ooops, those didn’t work. Let’s try 22,000+ laws against the “….shall not be infringed.” of The Second Amendment. There, that will surely do it. Ooops, didn’t. Well, maybe just one more law from “take them all if I could” Ditzy Diane, “Never worked a day in my life” Bernie, Ole Creepy, Sleepy, Crazy, Fire Two Blasts In The Air Joe, or “keep… Read more »

Justista

She should be suing the Chicago/ state of Illinois justice dept for allowing a monster to run around lose preying on Americans.

Whatzit

That’s the whole point. Find a way – any way – to attack some part of the gun community. A chip here, a slice there – anything to weaken the second amendment. Eventually, with enough chipping, it will fall. That’s the plan.

Deplorable Bill

Whatzit, They will not win as long as I am alive. Only a fool would surrender his firearms, ammo, magazines and gear.

Arm up, carry on.

Dave in Fairfax

Justita, That would be a waste of time. Chitcago and Sicknoise don’t pay off their lotto winners because they’re broke. Really, look it up.

Ryben Flynn

She’ll lose. Armslist has been found not responsible in every lawsuit filed against them.
pluralist dot com/supreme-court-armslist-not-liable-for-shooting/
Just Google “Armslist wins lawsuit”

StWayne

Lawyers love this kind of shit because they see it as job security. It’s either this, or they chase around ambulances.

PAF145

Its time to investigate anyone connected with the subversives at brady -husbands ,wives ,children–it is the fashion these days

Safegunowner

Why is this article published?
Oh yeah, I forgot…..
Dave Workman is the “Nancy Pelosi” of our industry.

He writes an article and Armslist has jot even been served with papers.

I hope Armslist sues Ammoland for publishing this crap.
And Dave Workman needs to focus on established facts.

Wild Bill

@Fakegunowner, The article was written to inform, something that you obviously want to shut down. Your criticisms of Workman are less than genuine.
So you got your paycheck padding response, go annoy someone else.

Wild Bill

, My pleasure. And you have a terrific article, in the really enlightening April issue of Guns.

Knute

Plus, he still has not managed to figure out the six-letter word for the dangerous end. But, to give the troll his due, he has only had apx. two weeks to figure it out since I asked him the last time! Do you think he will figure it out by the time my children are old graybeards? 🙂
Personally, I don’t think Mr UN-safe NON-gunowner knows which direction the sun rises in. Probably because he has yet to leave his ivory tower…

Wild Bill

, that is funny. I had forgotten that.

Knute

I don’t. 🙂 I formulated that question carefully, and I get a lot of mileage out of it, on lots of trolls. Its the perfect question to ask the multitudes of fake ‘gun owners’ out there, and expose their brainless lies. So I never let them forget it. I just keep asking it, every time they post, over and over, till I force them to move on to their next sock puppet. 🙂 I’m sniffing that this is almost the last for Mr. unsafenongunowner… He’ll see this and know that he won’t be allowed to continue the lie, at least… Read more »

SGT_Wombat

Sorry I must have missed the last discussion. If I may ask, what is the question? We can always use more ammo in the fight against hoplophobes

Wild Bill

@SGT W, I believe that the question is: “What is the six letter word for the dangerous end?” Hint: It has two “z”s in it.

Tionico

more likely still holed up in Mommie’s basement. Even an ivory tower can have windows enabling one to determine, over a period of time, from which directionthesun shines some of the time.

Knute

But his ivory tower is a cubicle in NYC or DC, and they don’t give windows to low level smurfs like him. The best he could get is a glance out the window once in a while, after asking his master’s permission to use the bathroom.
But he won’t bother to use that time to look outside, because he’ll be too busy figuring out a way to stall for extra time off in the toilet, or dreaming about the clerk in the next cubicle that he’ll never even get up the nerve to speak to. IMO only, OFC 🙂

Link

Hey stupid, once the paperwork been filed in the judicial system the lawsuit has started.
Being received by the defendant is a different issue and in no way changes the story.
Derp

Lakefoot

It appears that a lawsuit is considered started when the complaint has been filed.

“ Title II, Rule 3 to Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure deals with commencement of civil suits. A civil suit is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.”

I am not a lawyer nor am I particularly smart, just trying to learn.

Lakefoot

You are correct, my bad. I need to re-read things to make sure what is said is what I understand, and obviously didn’t do that here.

Tionico

Dave Workman is no Nannie Piglosi. For you to say that proves you know but naught about the man or his work. I’ve seen his work for at least ten years and am glad to finally see it in a widely distributed forum. Yes he pubilshed an incomplete article. So far every pice on Fast and Furious/Gunwalker is incomplete. But there are those, Dave W amongst them, who will publish more as it becomes known. Watch…. when more is known, such as when this lawsuit is dismissed in summary judgement with prejudice, costs awarded to those harmed by the frovolous… Read more »

Possum1500

So what it all boils down to is the Justice System failed….not Armslist nor anyone else. This killer was already a felon. Why was he released with a criminal history that was continuous for 20 years??? They need to trace this back to the Judge who released Legghette!!! This is the biggest problem today!

Ansel Hazen

Take it further than that. Turn the “logic” that Brady is using back upon all these gun snatchers. Don’t just sue Brady, but sue every donor that ever gave money to the campaign because “they should have known” the Brady campaign would misuse their funds in frivolous lawsuits. Sue every member of the justice system the felon had contact with. “They should have known” he would re-offend.

The best defense is a good offense. Let’s see how they like their strategy turned back upon them.

Whatzit

Of course, the obvious answer is that suing the judge or otherwise holding him/her accountable would not achieve the desired goal of harassing/disabling/disarming the gun-owner community. The only actions pursued are those that help to move the ball (the ball is citizen disarmament) closer to the goal. Anything else is disregarded.

Tionico

Yup. As David Corea so often and wisely says: if a man cannot be trusted roaming about in society WITH a gun, how can he be trusted to roam about in society WITHOUT a gun?
The murder is the man holding the gun, not the gun. Take away his gun he remains a murderer and needs to have more liberties than his right to be armed curtailed. Such as his freedom to associate, and travel.

And that website is nothing more than a tool to facilitate the right of its users to freely associate.

StreetSweeper

Totally frivolous lawsuit and I hope it costs Brady a bundle in recouped lawyer’s fees. As for the perp, I hear the death penalty works wonders.

Raven

If they use the chair the attendants are very polite. They always ask if he wants regular or extra crispy.

SGT_Wombat

Unfortunately, Illinois used to use lethal injection. I so badly wanted to go to JW Gacy’s execution with a sign the read “EXTRA crispy please”

Tionico

the death penalty works wonders. but ONLY if it is applied, as it seems should happen in this case, if not in one or more of this guy’s previous adventures in the room where someone up front is wearing a black nightie. I also hold to the principle that one should reap as he sows… he sows death by the gun he ought to reap death by the gun. I believe that if the firing squad were returned to its indended use, perps such as this would not only be removed from the public pemananently, the lack of which was… Read more »

SGT_Wombat

I believe Utah has Firing Squad as an option for executions

Deplorable Bill

First, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” So, dirt bag or not, if he is out of jail or the loony farm he has the right to be armed. That being said, this is a frivolous lawsuit on an innocent entity. This is like suing the news paper for something sold in the want adds. Smells like the other side is pushing this to tie up time and funds.

Arm up, carry on.

Possum1500

“So, dirt bag or not, if he is out of jail or the loony farm he has the right to be armed.” Bill, you’re not saying the convicted felon has a right to be armed, are you?

Deplorable Bill

Possum; Did you know it’s a felony to drive 20 m p h over the speed limit? Pull a fire alarm? The AVERAGE American commits three felonies each day. What ever he did and got caught for, he served the time (penalty) given him and once released from jail he does have the right to keep and bear arms, self defense etc. If you buy a car and make payments on it until it’s paid off, then the bank says you still have to pay on it until you die. You might have something to say about that wouldn’t you?… Read more »

Dave in Fairfax

Possum, It goes back to what we were talking about the other day. If he’s finished his sentence, yes, he is a free man and entitled to bear arms. If you don’t like that version of the law, then make felonies automatic capital offenses. Either he’s a free man or he isn’t. Me, I think capital punishment is highly under used.

Tionico

convicted, then served all aspects of his just punishment, certainly. If he remains too dangerous to be left to roam free in society, he must still be deprived his right to freely associate, and to travel as he pleases. If a man has murder in his heart, and cannot get his hands on a gun, there remain many other means to take life… motor vehicles, edged tools and weapons, the standard carpenter’s claw hammer is used to kill far more often than are firearms…. then there are bats, rocks, clubs, chainsaws, matches and petrol, arsenic, carbon monoxide, ropes, water, face… Read more »

jack mac

Possum: I say that all free and freed citizens have the right to arms and for it not to be hindered. This includes anyone who is convicted of anything and free form confinement. Only the denial of freedom is to be allowed for conviction. Thus preventing the exercise of rights at will. Denying the exercising of rights from free people is counter to the purpose of our nation. It is unrealistic to believe that any law will prevent any free person form exercising a right. The only way to prevent anyone form doing anything is to subdue or kill them.… Read more »

Baldwin

I have no compassion for those that lash out at any target of opportunity to ease their grief, and I especially no good feelings towards those that aid them out of their own self interests.

Tionico

and go after the ability of the lawyers to practice law since they have abused the legal system in this way. Remember back when some lawyers got sued and disbarred back in the days of ambulance chasing as a means of drumming up business? Same principle.