U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Armslist has won yet another case against the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The Brady Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence teamed up with Boston police officer Kurt Stokinger, who was shot in the line of duty, to sue the online gun marketplace. The websites let dealers and individuals sell their firearms and firearm accessories online. It is a “Craigslist” for guns.
In 2016, Stokinger executed a traffic stop on Grant Headley. The suspect of the stop pulled a .40 caliber Glock handgun and fired on the officer. Headly fired five shots at Stokinger, hitting the officer in the leg. The gun jammed, allowing other officers to take Headly into police custody.
Headley was on a five-year probation for gun and drug charges during the traffic stop. He acquired the gun from Sarah Johnson. She purchased multiple guns from Armslist and resold the firearms to local gang members. Stokinger and the Brady Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence also named Headly and Johnson in the lawsuit.
Johnson purchased the Glock Pistol in New Hampshire for $460. The lawsuit claims Johnson bought the gun from a private seller in a Mcdonald’s restaurant parking lot. The suit alleges that Armslist didn’t have enough safeguards to prevent the sale of firearms to prohibited people. Johnson purchased between 30 to 63 guns through the website. The suit claims the site was guilty of negligence because it allows people to buy firearms from private sellers.
Armslist claimed that the CDA 230 Safe Harbor protected the site. CDA 230 says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
The section protects sites like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Craigslist, and others from legal liability from user-generated content. This protection extends to items sold through these platforms. Groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) see the CDA 230 Safe Harbor protection as a critical component to have a free and open Internet.
If the Brady Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence were successful in their lawsuit against Armslist, it would have a chilling effect on Internet commerce. It would open up Amazon, Facebook, Craiglist, eBay, Shopify, and Google to multiple lawsuits. Any site that allows third-party sellers could be at risk of going bankrupt from having to settle these cases. It would shut down almost all internet commerce sites.
This suit isn’t the first time Brady Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has sued Armslist. The anti-gun group filed another lawsuit against Armslist in the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Brady’s lawsuit here is almost identical to their failed Massachusetts case. Most legal experts agree that this case will fail as well.
Gun rights advocates believe that the real goal of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is to bankrupt the gun website through frivolous lawsuits. The anti-gun organization is one of the most well-funded gun control groups in the country. The Brady Campaign has a massive influence on politicians. It has used its power to pass things like background checks using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Jon Gibbons of Armslist see this as more than a case just about his website. He believes other sites would feel the ramifications if they lost in court.
“We defended the foundation of the Internet against another assault, aimed at destroying free speech on the Internet,” Jon Gibbon, of Armslist, said. “We fought against Brady’s bullying tactics. For almost 50 years, Brady has tried to chill constitutionally protected rights by attempting to bankrupt prominent parties who operate within constitutionally protected industries that Brady does not approve of. Brady obviously does not care if their anti-constitutional cause results in the destruction of the Internet. ”
Armslist has set up a legal defense fund to help fight back against the attacks by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The Brady Campaign refused AmmoLand’s request for comment.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.