Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Legislation And News

Armslist website sued by shooting victim's family


Mr. Bill:
Courthouse News, 2/14/19: Gun Broker Website Argues It’s Not Liable for 2012 Shooting

--- Quote ---The Wisconsin Supreme Court grappled with the potential liability of a website that brokers gun sales between third parties in oral arguments Thursday, considering whether or not it is negligent for the website to facilitate possibly illegal gun sales without directly publishing the ads for those gun sales itself. ...

An investigation of that shooting turned up that Haughton purchased the gun he used on Armslist, a gun sales brokerage website that facilitates firearm sales between third-party buyers and sellers.

Haughton, however, was prohibited from gun ownership by both state and federal law because of a prior domestic violence conviction....

When [one victim's daughter] filed multiple tort claims against Armslist, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Glenn Yamahiro dismissed her claim, finding that “interactive computer services” like Armslist’s are protected by the Communications Decency Act, or CDA.

The state Court of Appeals reversed that dismissal, finding that the website’s design facilitates unlawful gun sales in light of the plain language of the CDA....
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Mr. Bill:
Courthouse News, 4/30/19: Gun Broker Website Cleared in Wisconsin Shooting

[see previous post for background]

--- Quote the state high court’s 32-page majority decision Tuesday, Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote that as an interactive computer service provider, Armslist is protected from liability “because all of Daniel’s claims for relief require Armslist to be treated as the publisher or speaker of information posted by third parties” on its website. ...

The [Communications Decency Act]’s provisions are at the heart of the high court’s decision. Roggensack said that in enacting the CDA, “Congress sought to prevent state and federal laws from interfering with the free exchange of information over the internet” and in particular on sites like Armslist, which she defined as “a classified advertising website similar to Craigslist.”

...Roggensack cited recent CDA-related orders that have protected social media sites like Facebook and apartment-rental sites from being held responsible for illegal content published by third parties using their “neutral tools,” stating that “if a website’s design features can be used for lawful purposes, the CDA immunizes the website operator from liability when third parties use them for unlawful purposes.”

Roggensack pointed out that there is no good faith requirement for sites like Armslist, so “the issue is not whether Armslist knew, or should have known, that its site would be used by third parties for illegal purposes,” but rather “whether Armlist was an information content provider,” with respect to the ad that Haughton responded to, which it was not. ...
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Mr. Bill:
Reuters, 11/25/19: U.S. Supreme Court turns away case on website's liability over gun sale

--- Quote ---The daughter of a woman killed in a 2012 mass shooting will not be able to sue the operator of a firearms classified advertising website from which the killer illegally bought his gun after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear her appeal.

The justices left in place an April ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court that found that a federal law that shields website operators from liability for user content applied to Armslist LLC, the operator of ...
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