Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules that Gun Sales Website NOT Liable for 2012 Shooting


In an important ruling, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a website that links people interested in firearms cannot be held responsible for a man who used a gun in a 2012 shooting.

One of the ways extreme leftists are using to destroy our Second Amendment rights is to engage in lawfare against companies that sell firearms, ammunition, or firearms related products.

The left’s goal is to destroy the businesses of any company that would engage in the sale of firearms thereby creating a situation where people can’t even buy guns, ammo, and supplies.

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This effort, of course, is entirely unconstitutional. Indeed, as Thomas Jefferson said in his 1792 Navigation of the Mississippi: “It is a principle that the right to a thing gives a right to the means without which it could not be used, that is to say, that the means follow their end.”

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In other words, outlawing ammunition, firearms supplies, or making it impossible to sell them violates our American first principles.

Now it looks like the Wisconsin Supreme Court essentially agrees.

According to the Madison State Journal:

The state Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday alleging a firearms website that enabled a man to illegally purchase the pistol he used in a mass shooting at a suburban Milwaukee spa six years ago is liable in the killings, ruling that federal law grants the site operators immunity.

The court ruled 5-1 that the federal Communications Decency Act protects Armslist LLC, a firearms classifieds website. The act absolves website operators of any liability resulting from posting third-party content.

The lawsuit stemmed from the 2012 shooting perpetrated by Radcliffe Haughton. The man killed his wife and her two co-workers before turning his gun on himself.

Haughton bought his murder weapon from a man he met on Armslist.com. It was this website the victim’s families tried to sue into oblivion.

The lawsuit filed in 2015 alleged Armslist’s operators should have known that the design of the site enabled illegal gun purchases. But Chief Justice Pat Roggensack, writing for the majority, said Tuesday that if a website’s features can be used lawfully the act immunizes the operators from liability when third parties use the sites unlawfully. Therefore all that’s left is to consider the site a publisher, triggering immunity under the act, she said.

“Regardless of Armslist’s knowledge or intent, the relevant question is whether (the) claim necessarily requires Armslist to be treated as the publisher or speaker of third-party content,” Roggensack wrote. “Because it does, the negligence claim must be dismissed.”

This is the right move.

Liberals cannot be allowed to sue legal businesses into oblivion because some customer misused a product.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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