Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Trying to Shutdown Online Ammo and Firearm Sales

By Woody published on in News

Cheaper Than Dirt! customers and Shooter’s Log readers should know that the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is trying to shut down online ammunition and firearms accessories sales by hanging the actions of an alleged killer on a handful of businesses.

Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence Logo

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is suing businesses that supplied ammunition and gear to alleged Aurora shooter James Holmes.

Websites that supplied Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes with ammunition, body armor, tear gas and other equipment used in his assault were negligent, according to a lawsuit announced last week by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Arnold & Porter LLP.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Colorado’s Arapahoe County District Court, seeks injunctions requiring the defendants to reform their business practices. Of course, none of the businesses have been charged with criminal wrongdoing.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, whose daughter Jessica Ghawi was shot and killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012. The suit alleges that the websites negligently supplied Holmes with the arsenal he used to kill 12 people and wound at least 58 others.

The lawsuit names Lucky Gunner (, which allegedly sold Holmes over 4,000 rounds of ammunition; The Sportman’s Guide, which allegedly sold Holmes a 100-round drum ammunition magazine and 700 rounds;, which allegedly sold Holmes multiple pieces of body armor; and BTP Arms, which allegedly sold him two canisters of tear gas, as defendants.

This is just the latest salvo by the Brady Campaign to slip gun and ammunition sales prohibitions through the back door of the legal system, since the campaign’s legislative efforts at the federal and state levels have largely stalled.

Make no mistake about it, Brady’s goals with this lawsuit are much grander than they might appear, as Jonathan Lowy, director of the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project and co-counsel for Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, said in a statement.

“A crazed, homicidal killer should not be able to amass a military arsenal, without showing his face or answering a single question, with the simple click of a mouse,” said Lowy. “If businesses choose to sell military-grade equipment online, they must screen purchasers to prevent arming people like James Holmes. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips have brought this lawsuit to make sellers of lethal arms and military equipment use reasonable care. ”

“Two years ago when our daughter Jessica was murdered, and we first heard the details of the massacre, I asked my husband: ‘How can anyone order over 4,000 rounds of ammunition without raising any red flags? Why weren’t any questions asked of the person who bought all of this ammunition?” said Sandy Phillips. “As gun owners, parents, and citizens of this country, we hope that our lawsuit will spare other families the tragedy that we have gone through after the death of our beautiful daughter.”

The complaint alleges that each of the online businesses failed to use reasonable safeguards to prevent dangerous people like James Holmes from obtaining high-capacity ammunition magazines, thousands of rounds of ammunition, body armor and tear gas used in his assault. Business practices that disregard these well-known risks and allow people like Holmes to purchase such products without any screening are unreasonably dangerous and create a public nuisance, according to the complaint.

But as Cheaper Than Dirt! customers know, there is not a federal law requiring background checks on ammunition sales. Also, Holmes passed background checks when he purchased four firearms, so it’s difficult to see how the online businesses will be held liable for his later actions that they couldn’t reasonably have foreseen.

Also, University of Colorado campus police didn’t stop Holmes, despite being warned about his mental state by Holmes’ psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton.

Do you think the Brady suit stands a chance in court? Let us hear from you in the comment section.

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Comments (31)

  • Keary


    Another clear example of why we must keep alert , keep spreading the message, keep making people aware, keep banging the drum of freedom, it will be up to the very few to stand up for what is right, as most gun owners say they support the 2nd, few take the time out of their lives to make their voice heard, few are as passionate about standing up for the 2nd as those that want to destroy it are. I hate to say it but the complacency of many gun owners will be our downfall just as it was Great Britain’s and Australia’s, Many will wake one day and say ‘WTF happened?”

    even those that don’t own a gun, how easy it is to loose our rights, this time our second amendment, next time something that important to them.
    when we loose the right to carry the right to self preservation , we have eventually lost all of our rights.


  • G.Snyder


    Pass?, not…yet. But watch out. We are living during a time of hysteria and propaganda with a population to match.

    Here in WA STATE we are up against a similar horrific gun rights problem, Initiative 594. Financed by billionaires, some out of State, the law promises a decrease crime by closing a so-called “loophole” in the sale of guns. Long story short, the 18 page Initiative is complex and clearly written for other purposes.

    But here’s the point, just like the law you present, many people fall for slick advertising and buy into promises based on skewed factoids, and or outright lies.

    Billionaires finance propaganda and sway the emotions, preying on the reactive misinformed using key words like, “criminal, safety, loophole, gunshows,” etc.

    It is entirely possible for laws to pass and destroy your Rights. It seems many people are too quick to pass laws which amend or change the Constitution without recognizing the weight of what they support.

    Gun rights and speech are on the table and the only way to resolve is through education, to place the efforts on the causes not the reactions. A focus on our social fabric and health is imperative. But fighting off the far left billionaires is difficult at best, one of which I have no specific ideas.


  • Jay


    Why are the gun owners who were denied their rights to protect themselves, not bringing suits against the theater owner/owners?
    This business denied the gun owners their CONSTITUTIONAL and civil RIGHTS! They then failed to provide adequate protection for those same people!!
    Fail to clear your walkways/steps, someone slips and you are held liable for not providing for their safety.


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