Dianne Feinstein: Open Online Gun Sales Advertisers to Lawsuits

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, questions President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge, as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018, for the second day of his confirmation …
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are pushing legislation to open up online gun sales advertisers to lawsuits.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) is also a cosponsor on the bill, which is titled the Accountability for Online Firearm Marketplaces Act (AOFMA).

The purpose of the AOFMA is to narrow the protections afforded by the “Communications Decency Act” and to ensure those lawsuit protections do not extend to entities advertising gun sales online.

The “Communications Decency Act” is contained in section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934, and Feinstein notes section 230 has been interpreted as protecting Armslist, an online firearms classified ad service described as “an online firearms marketplace” in the text of AOFMA.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) questions Judge Merrick Garland as he testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 22, 2021. (Drew Angerer/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) questions Judge Merrick Garland as he testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be US Attorney General on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 22, 2021. (Drew Angerer/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Feinstein commented on AOFMA, saying, “The only way to reduce the scourge of gun violence plaguing our communities is to close loopholes that allow prohibited people to obtain guns.” 

Whitehouse suggested, “Online gun marketplaces fail to take common-sense safety measures to prevent illegal gun sales on their platforms. There is no reason why a retailer should be allowed to evade responsibility simply because they operate online. It’s time to close this cyber loophole and protect against more unnecessary suffering.”

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. (Photo by Greg Nash - Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 12: U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on October 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away in September. (Photo by Greg Nash – Pool/Getty Images)

Blumenthal said, “Bestowing blanket immunity on websites for illegal gun sales mocks common sense and public safety. A website that enables such deadly arms transfers should not enjoy a shield from all accountability simply because they’re online. Section 230 was never intended to provide a sweeping free pass to such illicit lethal gun trafficking.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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