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

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Florida Alert: YETI Drops NRA Foundation

For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.  Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The ...

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Dick’s Sporting Goods/Field & Stream to Destroy Firearms Inventory

Dick’s Sporting Goods took their campaign to alienate law-abiding gun owners to an extraordinary new level last week. The beleaguered retailer announced that in addition to removing certain types of semi-automatic rifles from their stores, the company ...

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms!  In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Another Group of Anti-Gun Celebrities Forms! In Other News, The Sun Rose Today.

In case you were worried there were not enough anti-gun organizations working to eradicate the rights of law-abiding gun owners, a new one has formed, and it’s called NoRA.  Get it?  The name implies that the ...

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

News  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

NRA Statement on Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act

National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action executive director, Chris W. Cox, released the following statement on Tuesday regarding President Donald Trump's signature on the National Defense Authorization Act

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

News  

Friday, April 20, 2018

NRA Salutes “the Gunny” and Mourns the Passing of an American Patriot

America, and the NRA, lost a true friend and a staunch defender of freedom with the passing of R. Lee Ermey on April 15 from complications of pneumonia. He was 74 years old. 

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Keep Calm and Carry On: Pro-Gun Sentiment Reasserts Itself in Wake of Antigun Blitz

Like the long-delayed coming of spring to the Mid-Atlantic, evidence is appearing that Americans are regaining their senses and reverting to an instinctual embrace of freedom after a withering barrage of some the nastiest and most ugly ...

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

California: Legislation Requiring Background Checks on Barrels and Other Parts Up For Hearing!

Several pro- and anti-gun bills are scheduled to be heard in their respective committees on Monday, April 23 and Tuesday, April 24.  Please contact the members of the respective committee and urge them to SUPPORT ...

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Illinois: Committee Passes Bill to Allow Local Infringement of Second Amendment

The Illinois state Senate could vote on legislation to allow localities to infringe upon Second Amendment rights as early as today.  Senate Bill 2314 was moved to third reading after it had passed the Senate ...

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

News  

Friday, April 13, 2018

Unfriendly Skies: Delta CEO Claims Bashing NRA Members is Good Business

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, murders, there has been an unusual amount of anti-gun and anti-NRA commentary by private corporations with plenty of problems of their own.   In February, Delta announced it was ending a ...

Rhode Island: 19 Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee Tuesday

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rhode Island: 19 Gun Bills to be Heard in House Judiciary Committee Tuesday

A marathon gun bill hearing is on tap for next Tuesday night in Providence, and NRA and local pro-Second Amendment groups are calling for all-hands-on-deck.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.