We reported late last week that the Brady Campaign for Civilian Disarmament had lost their lawsuit against Armslist, a website that allows private individuals to get together to buy, sell and trade guns online. The practice of selling a firearm to another resident of the same state is not a crime (in most places), even without a background check. But the Brady Campaign argued that since the Armslist website allows users to view listings of firearms from multiple states, they were enticing people to break the law and ship guns across state lines without a background check. Armslist’s massive disclaimer that pops up whenever you visit the site put the brakes on that idea, but the Bradys were undeterred. And when the normal rules of liability blocked them from pursuing their suit further, they asked the court to ignore the law. You can imagine how well that went over . . .
From the NRA-ILA:
The Brady Campaign, on behalf of Mr. Vesely, asked the court to abandon traditional rules of tort liability and find that Armslist could be liable for the criminal actions of the man who killed Ms. Vesely. In essence, the Brady Campaign argued that a special rule should apply to Armslist because the advertisements on its website were for firearms, and it should therefore be treated differently than other online classifieds sites. With help from the NRA, Armslist argued that it should not be subject to different legal rules simply because its website contains advertisements for firearms.
The Brady Campaign doesn’t believe that firearms-related businesses deserve the same protection as other industries. And for that reason they expect that the American legal system to ignore the rules because of, well, the children. Or something.
It’s like asking a hardware store to be liable for a murder committed using a hammer they sold. Or a gas station for selling fuel used to drive into a crowd. It doesn’t even pass the smell test, let alone legal scrutiny. And yet, that’s apparently the Brady Campaign’s entire legal strategy.
I wonder if Armslist will sue the Brady Campaign for vexatious litigation . . .