Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Brady Campaign Loses Lawsuit Against Armslist. Again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in favor of the firearms classified website Armslist on Tuesday when it held that, as a matter of law, Armslist could not be liable for the criminal acts of a person who illegally acquired a firearm using the Armslist website.  Alex Vesely, with the support of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project, sued Armslist on behalf of his sister Jitka, who was killed by Demetry Smirnov using a handgun that had been advertised on Armslist.

Armslist only offers its website as a location for classified ads, it does not facilitate sales or offer vetting services for buyers or sellers.  This fact is made clear to each user who must agree to these terms before accessing the website.

Despite this limited role, the Brady Center’s lawyers claimed that “Armslist owed a duty to the public, including Jitka, to operate its website, armslist.com, in a commercially reasonable manner”, and that Armslist “design[ed] its website to encourage its users to circumvent existing gun laws, . . . by easily enabling prospective purchasers to search for and find gun sellers in any and all states.”  Judge Michael Kanne, writing for a unanimous panel, found that even if everything the Brady Center had alleged was true, they had failed to allege sufficient facts to show that Armslist could be found negligent. 

Rejecting Brady’s argument was easy for the court because contrary to Brady’s claims, Armslist had taken many steps to ensure that its users followed applicable state and federal firearms laws.  The court noted that each user was required to agree to a standard set of terms, including:

I understand that ARMSLIST DOES NOT become involved in transactions between parties and does not certify, investigate, or in any way guarantee the legal capacity of any party to transact.

I am responsible for obeying all applicable enforcement mechanisms, including, but not limited to federal, state, municipal, and tribal statutes, rules, regulations, ordinances, and judicial decisions, including compliance with all applicable licensing requirements.

If I am unsure about firearms sales or transfers, I will contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives at 1-800-ATF-GUNS and visit the ATF website at http://www.atf.gov.


With such terms, it’s difficult to understand how Brady’s lawyers could claim that Armslist “design[ed] its website to encourage its users to circumvent existing gun laws.”  And, to anyone even remotely familiar with the firearms industry, the idea that interstate advertising of firearms sales somehow shows intent to violate the law is absurd.  As was noted by the district court that also found against Brady, interstate sales are perfectly lawful as long as the firearm is transferred through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) in the buyer’s state.  Such transactions are so commonplace that many FFLs advertise the fee charged for these transfers.    

In finding against Brady, the court followed the long established rule that a person cannot be liable for a third party’s criminal act absent some special relationship, and no special relationship was created by Armslist simply offering a classified advertising service.  Brady’s legal theory would have potentially made newspapers, websites and bulletin board owners liable anytime someone used a classified service to help carry out a criminal act or, more likely, Brady hoped that the court would find a “gun exception” to traditional tort law rules.  Given the rejection of their gun-control agenda in legislatures across the country, dubious legal theories may be all that remain to the Brady Campaign.

TRENDING NOW
U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

U.S. Politicians Cheer New Zealand Gun Confiscation

American gun owners have once again been reminded that the ultimate goal of U.S. gun control advocates is firearms bans and confiscation. Since the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, American anti-gun politicians, activists, ...

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

Hunting  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Iowa: House Passes Bill to Improve Hunting Opportunities

On March 20th, the Iowa state House of Representatives voted 57-40 to pass House File 716 to improve hunting opportunities in Iowa by expanding the types of cartridges that may be used for hunting.  HF 716 will ...

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Legacy Media Push New Zealand Gun Confiscation Using Lies about Australian Ban

The ongoing cheerleading effort by the international press in furtherance of the New Zealand government’s gun confiscation plans is enough to make any journalist with even a shred of objectivity blush. Worse, some outlets have ...

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

News  

Thursday, March 21, 2019

NRA Praises Vermont Superior Court Decision on Magazine Bans

NRA applauds the Vermont Superior Court for allowing a lawsuit challenging the State's ban on standard capacity magazines to proceed. 

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Illinois Court Throws Out Deerfield Gun Ban

NRA applauds Illinois court ruling throwing out Village of Deerfield's ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines.

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Alaska State Commission for Human Rights Director Attacks Human’s Rights

The Last Frontier is also one of the last places one expects to find rights-trampling government officials. The state’s strong libertarian streak is one of the reasons a recent report regarding the authoritarian behavior of an official ...

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

News  

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Washington: Firearm Seizure & Other Bills to Be Heard In Committees

This week, the Washington state Senate Committee on Law & Justice and the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary will be hearing several bills affecting Second Amendment rights that crossed over from the opposite ...

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

Take Action  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grassroots Spotlight: NRA New Mexico FAL Couple -- Fighting Bloomberg Gun Control

The precursor to the NRA-ILA Frontlines Activist Leader Program (FAL) was known as the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) Program, and it started in 1994.  The “Election” in the EVC title was there to emphasize ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.