In 2012 a Wisconsin man bought a gun from another individual in a private sale through an advertisement placed at Armslist. He then used the gun to shoot up a salon where his estranged wife worked, killing three people. The fact that he was under a restraining order and a prohibited person didn’t present much of an obstacle.
The Brady Campaign had sued Armslist on behalf of one of the victim’s families and the case has been bouncing around the Wisconsin court system for the last six-plus years. The suit had been thrown out based on protections provided by the Communications Decency Act. That court ruled that Armslist is functionally no different from any other seller of advertising such as a newspaper classified section (remember those?) or Craigslist (if they accepted gun-related ads).
Then the Wisconsin Supreme Court had dismissed the suit after a lower court revived it in 2018. Now, after an attempt to revive the suit with an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, SCOTUS has finally put an end to this punishment by process, once and for all.
From the Associated Press . . .
The Supreme Court won’t revive a lawsuit against a firearms website over a suburban Milwaukee spa shooting.
The justices rejected an appeal Monday from the daughter of one of three people shot to death by a man who illegally bought a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition from someone he met through Armslist.com.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the suit, ruling that federal law protects website operators from liability for posting content from a third party. The state court rejected arguments that websites that enable gun deals must take reasonable care to prevent sales to people prohibited from purchasing firearms. The Wisconsin shooter was under a court order that prohibited him from possessing guns.
A similar lawsuit filed by a Boston police officer is pending in state court in Massachusetts.