By: José Niño
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal are promoting legislation that would open online firearms sales advertisers to lawsuits.
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has also jumped onboard in co-sponsoring the Accountability for Online Firearm Marketplaces Act (AOFMA).
As AWR Hawkins of Breitbart News astutely observed, “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.”
Hawkins added some further context to the Communications Decency Act:
“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 said of the AOFMA, “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 took online gun marketplaces to task, saying, “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 was adamant about removing immunity for online gun vendors, stating, “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.”
Feinstein continues to be a gung-ho gun grabber. Since she was elected to public office as Mayor of San Francisco in 1978, Feinstein has been one of the most zealous advocates for civilian disarmament in U.S. politics.
She has taken this same anti-Second Amendment mindset to the U.S. Senate, where she has been in office since 1992. At 88 years of age, there’s considerable speculation about Feinstein stepping down from her position.
Due to California’s thoroughly left-wing politics, though, it’s unlikely her successor will be any better on the Second Amendment. Feinstein’s anti-Second Amendment body of work has significantly changed the overall politics of California during her decades in office.
With retirement a distinct possibility in her near future, Feinstein will do everything possible to end her career with a proverbial bang. Second Amendment supporters should remain vigilant when dealing with zealots like Feinstein. This latest online gun control scheme could be her parting gift to unsuspecting gun owners.
José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at email@example.com. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.