Supremes rule on lawsuit over firearm purchased online

Wisconsin Supreme Court

A Second Amendment advocate is pleased with a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that upholds a pro-gun decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The case stems from the 2012 shooting at a spa in suburban Milwaukee in which three people were murdered and four others wounded. The perpetrator later killed himself.

The shooter was under a court order prohibiting him from possessing guns but purchased a pistol and ammunition from someone he met through website One of the shooting victims sued the website but the Wisconsin Supreme Court dismissed the suit, ruling that federal law protects website operators from liability for posting content from a third party.

The state court rejected arguments that websites that enable gun deals must take reasonable care to prevent sales to people prohibited from purchasing firearms.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the decision.

Mike Hammond, legislative counsel to Gun Owners of America, says the high court described a “chilling effect” on the First Amendment and Second Amendment if websites were required to rigorously screen every gun-related issue that came within their purview.

Hammond says he has bad news for anyone who suggests that a person prohibited from obtaining a firearm will not find a way to get one.

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