AMA criticizes Armslist in legal brief

AMA criticizes Armslist in legal brief

If you’re unfamiliar with Armslist they are a website that facilitates the sale of firearms between private sellers and buyers. Many have referred to Armslist as the ‘craigslist of guns’. Since there are many states that do not require background checks or waiting periods on private gun sales a number of people who were forbidden from owning guns have used Armslist to circumvent background checks. On more than one occasion, guns purchased through Armslist have been used in a mass shooting. Here is Armslist’s owner commenting on a mass shooting that took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 2015 where the shooter had purchased guns through Armslist.

If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same ‘free speech’ tactic used by Backpage when they were trying to defend their ‘right’ to profit from human trafficking. As has been famously said, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

This hasn’t prevented people from trying to claim legal recourse against Armslist. A lawsuit has been filed in Wisconsin against Armslist. In 2012, Radcliffe Haughton stormed his estranged wife’s workplace in Brookfield, Wisconsin, shooting and killing his wife, Zina Daniel Haughton, and two other victims before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life. Haughton had a domestic violence injunction against him which prevented him from legally owning a gun. Zina’s daughter, Yasmeen Daniel, had previously tried to sue Armslist for their role in facilitating the gun sale but the suit was dismissed due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, again, another Backpage tactic. Back in April of last year, an appeals court ruled that suit can continue claiming that it can be argued that Armslist is designed to facilitate illegal gun sales.

More recently, the American Medical Association has filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit against Armslist. In the brief, the AMA states that “facilitating illegal arms sales does not fall under “traditional publisher functions,” and that the claim of aiding a murder “does not depend on whether Armslist is treated as a publisher.”

While Armslist doesn’t physically sell firearms to people, they do very little to discourage the illegal sale of firearms outside of making users click on a button that says they’re over 18 and they’re legally able to purchase a gun. That’s not exactly what should be called reasonable steps to help prevent illegal gun sales. That seems to be enough for Armslist through as they continue to make money off of the blood of shooting victims.