John-Lowy-courtesy-bradycampaign.com_

It was less than a year ago that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence was dealt a significant blow when their high profile lawsuit against Armslist was summarily dismissed for being the dumbest thing the judge had ever seen. The crux of their case was that Armslist had provided the meeting place for an illegal firearm that was sold and later used in a murder, and the Brady Campaign wanted to “hold them accountable” for not stopping the sale. In the end, their lawsuit was so flawed that they had to beg the court to ignore the law to let the lawsuit continue, something that didn’t happen. Fresh off that stunning victory, the Brady Campaign yesterday launched a new lawsuit on equally tenuous grounds, this time aimed at an ammunition distributor . . .

From Fox News:

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence will announce Tuesday a lawsuit against online retailers alleged to have sold ammunition and equipment to accused Aurora theater killer James Holmes.

“The lawsuit alleges that the websites negligently supplied Holmes with the arsenal he used to kill 12 people and wound at least 58 others by failing to use any screening mechanism to determine his identity or intent for the products,” the Brady Center said in a media release.

[…]The Brady Center said it plans to name Lucky Gunner (BulkAmmo.com) as well as other online weapons sellers in the lawsuit.

If the judge thought that the Brady Campaign’s lawsuit against Armslist was frivolous and unfounded, this one should be even better.

From what I can tell, it seems like the Brady Campaign’s argument is that LuckyGunner should have reasonably known that James Holmes was insane and planning to shoot up a movie theatre. They therefore should have refrained from selling him any ammunition. There are a couple of problems with that line of thinking.

First things first, how exactly does the Brady Campaign expect LuckyGunner to know that this (or any) ammo they’ve sold was destined for an illegal activity? That would be like suing an Exxon station for selling gas to fuel a car that was later used in a hit-and-run. It sounds like the Brady Campaign’s argument is going to be that LuckyGunner should have performed a background check on their ammunition purchasers

Never mind that Holmes had already passed a background check when purchasing four firearms. As the Brady Campaign already knows, there’s neither a federal law requiring background checks on ammunition sales. Does the Brady Campaign expect LuckyGunner to conduct individual interviews with each purchaser and get a sworn statement about their intentions for the ammunition? And even if they did that, the Bradys would just make the same “you should have known better” argument when someone inevitably lies about the bullets there buying and we’d we start the whole thing over again.

To get an idea of just how ridiculous this is, let’s take this same logic to the very next logical step. If Walmart had sold James Holmes the black turtleneck he wore during the attack, should we sue Walmart for providing “equipment” to a mass shooter that made him more difficult to spot in the dark? Should we sue Holmes’ apartment complex for giving a mass murderer a location from which to plot his nefarious crimes? How about we sue the movie theatre for collecting all the victims in a convenient place? You see where I’m going with this — the Brady Campaign is playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon  here and trying to find any viable target to sue that they can, no matter how tenuous the connection.

The real plan here isn’t “justice” for the victims, but to try and shut down online ammunition retailers. The Brady Campaign could have gone after any number of big box sellers for providing ammunition to murderers. I’m sure the local Walmart has sold thousand of rounds of ammo later used in crimes. Instead, though, they’ve targeted a small mom-and-pop operation like LuckyGunner because the Brady Campaign knows that they probably don’t have the money to defend themselves.

They’re betting that they can get LuckyGunner to fold before this legal travesties ever gets to a courtroom Not only would that succeed in knocking a legitimate, law-abiding business off the map, but it might also set a legal precedent for other ammunition retailers that they need to know who’s buying their products and what their intentions are. That’s an insanely high bar to set in an already razor-thin margin business, and it would likely close down many of the shops that we all use on a daily basis.

Justice is the last thing the Brady Campaign is looking for here. Their intent is to use lawfare to put the screws to the evil ammunition distributors and shut off as much supply as they can to American gun owners. Thankfully their legal argument seems to be even more tenuous than it was in the Armslist case. Let’s hope they’re just as successful here.

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100 Responses to Brady Campaign To Sue LuckyGunner for Selling Ammo Used in Aurora Shooting

  1. Did they get sanctioned for their frivolous lawsuit against Armslist? Especially since they appealed their initial loss and lost again?

    • You asked the question I had. Is there a law in that state where losers have to pay the winners in such suits? With Brady suing anyone and everyone they can, they are either looking for some kind of a win to justify their continuing viability (if there ever was any viability) and/or trying to get money to keep going.

      • Although I wonder who gets stuck with paying the costs. Since the Brady Campaign isn’t technically a plaintiff does that mean the grieving families who are the plaintiffs of record get stuck with the bill while the Brady Campaign gets away without having to pay anything?

        • It should. If the Bradys aren’t officially part of the case, I doubt they can be held responsible. Kinda like how you can put pictures of abortion doctors and their addresses on a website that advocates killing abortion doctors and not be held responsible for a murder.

      • The state laws might not apply here. Lucky Gunner is not a Colorado based business, so I believe this would have to go to federal court. If so, I don’t think state “loser pays” laws would apply.

        • There are not a whole lot of “loser pays” laws on the books, and these are basically covering breach of contract where there is an attorney’s fees clause or specific statutes (e.g. civil rights claims) that provide a remedy to a winning plaintiff against a governmental entity. On the other hand, the Federal Court system has FRCP Rule 11–a sanctions statute for frivolous actions or tactics. Also there is the potential of a claim by a winning defendant against the plaintiff for malicious prosecution (which, as an aside, are hard to win).

  2. I’ve found LuckyGunner to have somewhat higher prices for a given quality of ammo than other sources. Still, think I’ll place my next order with them.

    F U, Brady.

  3. Sue Macys for selling a knife used in a murder, sue a doctor for prescribing drugs that were overused and someone dies and best of all sue swimming pool manufacturers when someone drowns.
    They have to come up with their name in the paper to get REVENUE!

    • I think you’ve hit the nail.

      It’s about keeping their name in the papers to improve their street cred for their fundraising.

      And, by the way, let’s demonize ammo sellers while we’re at it.

      • If we had a “loser pays” system, none of this BS would fly. Instead, Lucky Gunner has to expand time and resources defending themselves even though it’s obvious this lawsuit isn’t going anywhere. Thank you lawyers everywhere, you proved once again how useless you are.

      • Demonize ammo sellers?

        Go after the real “Merchants of Death”…

        The Evil Ammunition factories, spitting out countless billions their vile, heartless, child killers!

        Or something.

        • Technically, they are doing so indirectly. The EPA was used to shut down our last lead-processing plant in the States a while back…

      • Isn’t Lucky Gunner just a distributor? Then why not go after the actual manufacturer of the ammo.? seems thay would have deeper pockets. Such a rediculous suit.

    • The one difference is that firearms and ammunition manufacturers and dealers are specifically protected by federal law from being held liable for the misuse of their products, as long as they sell them in a legal manner.

      Those other industries only have general protections against unfounded lawsuits.

    • “best of all sue swimming pool manufacturers when someone drowns.”

      Is LuckyGunner the manufacturer, or simply a retailer?

      Perhaps the better analogy is “sue the City Water Dept. for selling the water used to fill the swimming pool that someone drowned in.”

      Reductio Ad Absurdum fits this “lawsuit” quite well.

      • “Sue the City Water Dept. for selling the water used to fill the swimming pool that someone drowned in.”?

        Sue the hourly laborers who dug the ditches and laid the pipe that thoughtlessly allowed the flow of the water that was the real killer in those swimming pool drownings.

    • Not only have doctors been successfully sued, some have been successfully prosecuted for manslaughter for overprescribing oxycontin/oxycodone that have resulted in deaths.

    • I wonder what the Brady Bunch would say if you told them to sue the Federal Government instead? If he didn’t get student loans and grants, he wouldn’t have had the money to buy the guns and ammo.

  4. How about background checks on purchasers of gasoline that are used to fuel cars that are driven by criminals to rob houses.

    • How about background checks on HR reps that…cough cough (stay with me here):
      Hire gas plant employees,
      That produce gasoline for truck drivers,
      That deliver candy to convenience stores,
      That is bought by children,
      Whose parents own guns,
      That are stolen and used in crimes!!

      Its the only logical way to prevent these type of crimes.

  5. Using this same logic I cannot wait to see M.A.D.D. trying to sue the U.A.W. next time there is a drunk driving fatality. After all, the U.A.W. was complicit in the manufacturing of a vehicle that they knew would be used in premeditated murder. Anheuser Busch needs to be held accountable too.

    • NO, but M.A.D.D has been able to pass laws that says if a bartender gives someone too much to drink, that the bar and bartender are liable if gets into an accident. In CT, if someone comes to your house for a party and drinks too much and gets into accident, the homeowner is liable.

  6. who is the attorney who files that suit? I hope it is not the same jerkoff who filed the armslist suit. . . . that is ripe for Rule 11 sanctions. Also, can ammo manufacturers be sued in Colorado? Many states have pre-emption laws that exempt manufacturers from suit unless they can be shown to other culpability. Finally, I see how Brady gets around standing – they are gonna pimp, I mean use, one of the victims’ families as a human prop, damn, there I go again, I mean plaintiff.

    Is TTAG taking up a collection for Lucky Gunner? Their prices suck, but I would be willing to pitch in

    • I would gladly donate money for Lucky Gunner to sue the Newtown family that attached their name to this frivilous lawsuit.

  7. This is why we need a national “Loser Pays” law.
    In this case, after the trial court grants summary judgment to the defendants, it should not only make the Brady center pay their costs, but fine them for frivolous litigation.

    • Sounds good in this case, but such a policy would cast a pall over legit lawsuits, too, especially against well-funded entities with good lawyers. You can countersue case by case, but I don’t think a “loser pays” policy works overall.

      • “Loser Pays” can work well if there’s a threshold. For an obviously frivolous case (such as this or the recent spate of software patent troll lawsuits), there could be a special ruling by the dismissing judge, or the jury. Basically some optimal balance between “loser pays” and countersuing for legal fees.

      • Potentially one good cut-off is summary judgement. If a defendant seeks and gets summary judgement then the implication is that the suit should not have been brought int the first place. At that point a lower-pays type setup seems like it should work quite well without discouraging legitimate legal actions.

      • I think that malicious prosecution is a more than adequate remedy for the few cases that merit it. There is always one winner and one loser in a lawsuit, and many losing plaintiffs had plenty of cause to sue; there is no justification for punishing them for filing a potentially valid lawsuit.

  8. This is one case where the SAF needs to do some pro bono work. If this small retailer goes under more will follow I am sure. The Brady Bunch has been pretty irrelevant over the last few years. This is their attempt to gain a few minutes of fame and some cash from the unwashed masses.
    The only way to beat this is to make sure they don’t fold, and don’t go away. We go to court and get it tossed. We can then present to the world the flaming wreckage.

    • Yep they have assumed the role of the bully who walks around and picks a fight with someone they think they can beat. They have nothing to lose. If they win they will trumpet success against the scourge of illicit online ammo dealers. If they lose they will bitch and moan about the ever villified faceless “gun lobby”.

  9. Counter-sue for defamation. Actual damages might be minimal, but in light of Brady’s past filings, if this isn’t thrown out on a summary basis, there might be punitive damages awarded. However, the US District Court in Denver is not a real friendly venue for LuckyGunner. Missouri is friendlier.

  10. What’s it cost to file a lawsuit? A couple of hundred bucks, right?

    The publicity a couple of hundred bucks buys among the lapdog media is priceless.

    So is the Brady’s formula for struggling to remain relevant.

    Nobody except the hard-core gun rights people (and maybe not even them) will have half a deuce when the suit is eventually dismissed.

    All Brady’s need are the flood of ink (digital and dead tree) that come from their “novel” approach.

    Scumbags.

  11. The brady people are just trying to keep relevant. They must want more money so they are trying to get headlines again so they can drive up donations.

      • Well, in fairness, they did have real political teeth in the 80’s and 90’s. I clearly remember a lot of what they claimed back then gaining traction.

        Yeah, they failed at getting an outright ban on handguns. But they are behind a lot of the magazine limit foolishness we still fight today. They were also part of the lobbying for the AWB.

  12. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 7901-7903) protects ammunition as well as firearms and firearm parts. So this should be as cheap and easy to win as any lawsuit ever is.

  13. If you want accountability for ammunition sales you would advocate ban on retail sales and make mail order mandatory. Had Holmes bought his Ammo locality with cash nobody would know where he got it. There is no such thing as anonymous sale on the internet even if you are using btcoin. You still need a mailing address with your name and address associated with it. Even for a Post Office Box.. How anonymous is that?

    • One of the Bradys’ goals is requiring ID and a record passed to the local government, for all ammo sales.
      On their state scorecards, they give a few points for having such a law.

  14. Just totally ridiculous. If a man stabs someone with a kitchen knife, do the victims draw up a suit against Cuisinart kitchenware?? Completely nonsensical.

  15. The lawyers involved should be disbarred. We’ll have a few less lawyers and those that remain might think before getting involved in such frivolous lawsuits.

    • LOL! Good luck with that!!!!!!!! Lawyers disbarred — that cracks me up!

      In CT we have a case that was in the news yesterday. The lawyer forced several women to have sex with him for him to proceed in their cases. In once instance, he told one women if she wanted to win the case she would have to get on her knees naked while he masturbated and finished all over her. The women did what he told them too because they were desperate. He was NOT disbarred. His license was suspended for 6 months — that is all!

      There should be an easy way to get rid of bad judges, bad prosecutors, bad lawyers and bad cops! But there is NOT, they are all part of the protection racket so that they can abuse the system at will.

      • There should be an easy way to get rid of bad judges, bad prosecutors, bad lawyers and bad cops!

        This happening spontaneously will be one of the few upsides of a SHTF scenario.

  16. Wow is this the last gasp of the brady bunch? Now you gotta’ have pre-cognition to sell ammo? I have no opinion on Lucky Gunner as I have never bought anything gun related on line. If I need AMMO I’ll try to use LG 🙂

  17. Am I the only one to see an irony in an organization which claims to be anti-violence using the word “fighting” in their slogan?

    • Scratch the surface of any gun control lobbyist and you’ll find an enthusiastic fan of violence. Watch them squirm with glee over a mass shooting. Witness the venom as they wish death on gun owners. Every time they pass a new law they’re advocating for state violence in the name of enforcement.

  18. As capably pointed out above, this is primarily a way for the Brady Bunch to reclaim some media attention and fund raising mojo they’ve lost to the evil midget and Dirk ‘s friend Shannon.

    They’ve dragged in the family of one of the victims to have an emotional tug for the media, not to mention an attempt to get standing.

    • I don’t think Mike really has any fundraising abilities, unless you count writing a check from his own account. And Shannon’s only fundraising prowess seems to be becoming friends with Mike’s checkbook.

      The Bradys might be following on the heels of the passenger pigeon today (including the attempt at resurrection), but they do seem to be the only anti-gun group that ever had any sort of grassroots support, albeit dismal compared to pro-gun groups.

      @Dirk, sorry to hear about the break up. But hey, I hear Sarah Brady is back on the market. (Too soon?)

  19. Maybe Jim Brady really was running the show. Since his death, the campaign has made nothing but ill-advised moves like this one.

    I can’t see what they hope to accomplish with this, other than perhaps remain visible in the news for another couple of days.

  20. On top of all this nonsense, how does one actually prove that the ammo they sold him was used during the crime? Can they prove it came from LG and no other source? If so, how? Unless there are serial numbers on those rounds, I’d say it would be impossible to prove they were uniquely from LuckyGunner (or anyone else, for that matter).

  21. From the complaint…
    83. Holmes also carried thousands of rounds of ammunition.
    84. After the shooting, police recovered 209 live AR-15 rounds and 15 live 40-caliber
    handgun rounds.

    Apparently, math is hard…

  22. What standing does these twits have? No relationship to the nutjob and not damaged by his actions. They have no involvement or damages.

  23. I want to sit on this jury. I would give Lucky Gunner every dime the Brady Center has and would collect for decades.

  24. How about we use “Kickstarter” (or some such service) to raise money to file a Class Action Suit against the Brady Bunch on behalf of all gun owning Citizens of the United States for conspiring and advocating to violate the Constitution and our Civil Rights by lobbying for the enactment of Federal and State Statutes that directly infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear Arms as specified and protected by the Second Amendment?

    I imagine this has been tried before and the way I have written the suggestion could be better constructed by an appropriately skilled legal counsel, but it is no more frivolous and stupid than what the Brady Bunch is trying to do to Lucky Gunner. It may, in fact, have actual legal merit, and we should file the suit against every Gun Control Group, personality and anyone else we can think of.

    If 25% of all U.S. Gun Owners gave $5 that would amount to $100 million and more, if more contributed and some gave more than $5 each. Maybe go after Brady first, then others if we win. Seek restitution for our donations plus a punitive sum for each Gun Owner in the United States.

    You probably cannot sue the Politicians for passing Gun Control Laws, but you might be able to sue Organizations and private parties for conspiring to violate our natural, Civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear Arms, which is expressly forbidden by the Constitution.

    Okay start telling me I am crazy in three…two…one….

  25. I would think, that as a lawyer, one must have reached a certain level of compromise where shame no longer enters ones mind. That means some shameless twit with a law degree is representing the Brady Bunch.
    Remember, the Brady Bunch is just one group, but these lawyers,…..they’re everywhere!

  26. Want to see how frivolous this thing is?
    “The lawsuit alleges that the (websites) negligently supplied Holmes with the (arsenal) he used to kill 12 people and wound at least 58 others by failing to use any screening mechanism to determine his identity or intent for the products,”

    Replace (websites) with movie theater and (arsenal) with movie ticket. Your going down Century 16 movie theater!!!!

  27. Why stop at the ammo company. Just go right to the top. Sue GOD and the churches that represent God. God made man. Man killed man, man made gun, man made ammo. Your going to sue anybody. Then sue the person that started it all.

  28. The Brady Bunch are idiots but unluckygunner.com is one of the worst gougers along with cheaperthangold.com
    Sue them for helping create the shortage that newbs fell for with their high prices. Would not buy from them because of their prices.

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