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.
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.”
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 Hawkins, a 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 email@example.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.