Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death

Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death

This is a discussion on Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death The family of a woman who was murdered last year by a stalker wielding a .40-caliber ...

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Thread: Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death

  1. #1
    Member Array Harvester's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death

    Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death

    The family of a woman who was murdered last year by a stalker wielding a .40-caliber handgun bought illegally on the internet is suing the gun website through which the firearm was procured for allegedly causing the shooting.

    The legal action against Armslist.com, a web listing site that specialises in firearms, is the first of its kind and opens up a new front in the ongoing battle to tighten America's loose gun controls. It was filed in an Illinois court on Wednesday morning by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence on behalf of the brothers and father of Jitka Vesel, a 36-year-old immigrant from the Czech Republic who was fatally shot on 13 April 2011.
    Read more here: Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman's shooting death | World news | guardian.co.uk

    My question is how is it the website's fault that one of their users broke the law? This lawsuit is the equivalent of arresting the owners of Craigslist for supporting prostitution because prostitutes post ads there.
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    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    "The legal action against Armslist.com, a web listing site that specialises in firearms, is the first of its kind and opens up a new front in the ongoing battle to tighten America's loose gun controls."

    Hehe! Come to NY mister article writer. Lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    My question is how is it the website's fault that one of their users broke the law? This lawsuit is the equivalent of arresting the owners of Craigslist for supporting prostitution because prostitutes post ads there.
    I agree. It's a crazy world now when inanimate objects "cause" crime. The BGs love this because it takes some of the heat off of their personal actions and choices. "The web site made me do it".
    It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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    Member Array Drgnfly's Avatar
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    Ah, didn't finish the article. NY is on the case.

    "Last year, New York City, a leading proponent of greater gun controls through the office of its mayor Michael Bloomberg, carried out an undercover investigation into the proliferation of internet gun sales. It found that 62% of private online sellers agreed to trade weapons to New York's investigators posing as buyers even though the purchasers openly admitted they probably couldn't pass a background check. It is illegal under federal law, even for private sellers, to sell a gun knowingly to someone who would not pass a background check.

    In the case of Armslist.com, New York found that 54% of the private sellers they approached agreed to sell to an undercover buyer who admitted they were unlikely to pass a background check. The investigators posing as buyers actually met with private sellers operating through Armslist.com and bought four weapons including a Smith & Wesson handgun similar to that which killed Jitka Vesel.

    A New York investigator recorded his conversation with one seller. "No background checks?" the investigator asked.

    "No, I just take cash, and there you go," the seller replied."

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
    My question is how is it the website's fault that one of their users broke the law?
    It's not, you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by From the article
    Smirnov had bought the Smith & Wesson murder weapon from a Seattle bartender who posted it on Armslist.com. The seller, Benedict Ladera, went ahead with the deal even though he knew that Smirnov was a foreigner and that it is illegal to sell guns to an out-of-state resident. Ladera added an extra $200 to the $400 sale price as compensation for the risk he was taking in committing a felony.

    Smirnov pleaded guilty to the murder in July 2011 and will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Ladera was sentenced in June to a year in prison for having made the illegal sale.
    The two involved parties were caught and dealt with, with criminal charges. This sort of thing is one of the reasons I sell only to folks who can show some evidence of in-state residency (via state DL) and "good character" (via a CHL). Short of those things, one never knows who the buyer really is, and even so won't know what the buyer's intentions might be down the road.

    But particularly in anti-gunner places like Chicago, nothing stops a person from attempting a civil lawsuit for claimed damages from such a sale.

    IMO, the classified ads spot isn't any more liable than, say, the city or electric company would be if the ad for the sale were stapled to a power pole.

    Of course, it's about as likely that Illinois' planned CHL statutes to include "Castle" legal protections as it is for me to ever visit the moon. Some day ... IL citizens. Some day.
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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inter9 View Post
    A New York investigator recorded his conversation with one seller. "No background checks?" the investigator asked.

    "No, I just take cash, and there you go," the seller replied."
    Not to excuse the irresponsibility of some online sellers, but one could also interpret this as the investigator asking if he needed to go through a background check, which is not the same as saying "I can't pass that background check."
    Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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    So "private sellers" are actually "individual unlicensed dealers"?

    Wow, I didn't even know the BATEF had such a category.
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    Ex Member Array pscipio03's Avatar
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    Yes! It's about time someone sued the online stores! Then, later, I hope many people sue Boeing for making the planes that crashed into the the Twin Towers.
    I personally plan to sue my cutlery manufacturer for those forks that made me fat.
    1 old 0311 and ep1953 like this.

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    It sounds like this armslist isn't really a store, but more of an ebay type auction site. In all likelihood, a store would abide by the rules and only ship to an FFL. The FFL would then be responsible for performing the checks necessary to release to the buyer. Armslist seems to be operating as an extension to the face-face transfer that some states allow, in which the seller still has the obligations to verify that the buyer is legitimate. I don't agree with holding a website that provides a valuable service liable for the actions of a minority of black market buyers and sellers.

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    America's loose gun controls???? Haha funny!
    ep1953 likes this.

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    Suit instituted in Illinois, now there's a surprise. I don't get how the website is to blame for anything. It sounds like it wasn't a FTF transaction which would mean it would need an FFL, who would be doing a background check.

    "Gun sellers and website operators who knowingly funnel guns to killers and criminals must be held accountable."
    The website didn't knowingly funnel guns to killers and criminals. It has the terms set forth on the use of the website:
    TERMS OF USE
    • I am 18 years of age or older.
    • I understand that ARMSLIST DOES NOT become involved in transactions between parties and does not certify, investigate, or in any way guarantee the legal capacity of any party to transact.
    • I am responsible for obeying all applicable enforcement mechanisms, including, but not limited to federal, state, municipal, and tribal statutes, rules, regulations, ordinances, and judicial decisions, including compliance with all applicable licensing requirements.
    • I will not use Armslist.com for any illegal purpose.
    • If I am at all unsure about firearm sales or transfers, I will contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive at 1-800-ATF-GUNS and visit the ATF website at ATF Online - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
    • I will help to ensure the overall openness and accessibility of the site to all users through a peer-review process. I understand that failure to adhere to proper internet protocol and etiquette may result in removal of my listings or more severe corrective action.
    • ARMSLIST may edit or remove information, including my listings, from the site without notice.
    • If I violate these terms, ARMSLIST may permanently remove me from the site or, depending on the nature and severity of the violation, avail itself of such remedies as are prescribed by law. Whilst ARMSLIST ABSOLUTELY BELIEVES AND CHAMPIONS "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms," ARMSLIST will comply with federal, state, municipal, and tribal law enforcement entities pursuant to the Constitution of the United States and Due Process of Law.
    • I take responsibility for my actions whilst using Armslist.com. I also take responsibility for any and all of my actions related to, or resulting from, my use of Armslist.com. Further, I am solely responsible for any and all consequences of such my actions.
    • I indemnify and hold harmless ARMSLIST and all of its owners, directors, officers, employees, and agents for any and all loss, harm, damage, costs, liability, and expense caused to them, whether intentionally or unintentionally, by my use of Armslist.com, including but not limited to direct or indirect results of violations of any and all applicable laws.
    • ARMSLIST may make changes to these terms at any time without notifying me. As a user, I am solely responsible for reading the most current version of the terms and conditions.
    • By clicking "I agree," I electronically represent ("sign") that I agree to the above terms and further certify that I have read, and completely agree, to be legally bound by the ARMSLIST Terms of Use
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