Murder Victim’s Family Sues Gun Website
Vesely says his sister, who was his best friend, is survived by him, another brother and their father.
“Smirnov illegally purchased the .40-caliber handgun he used to kill Jitka from a private seller whom he located through armslist.com, an online gun auction site owned by defendant Armslist, LLC,” the complaint states. “The website’s design facilitates illegal gun sales to unlawful gun buyers with no background checks and no questions asked. armslist.com’s design also encourages and enables users to evade laws that limit the sale of firearms by private gun owners to residents of their own state by enticing prospective buyers to search for and find gun sellers throughout all 50 states. Indeed, the private seller in this case, a resident of Seattle, Washington, noted at the sentencing hearing for his role in Jitka’s death, that: (a) he had easily sold other firearms on armslist.com before selling the gun to Smirnov; (b) Smirnov paid him extra cash for the .40-caliber handgun because he lived out of state and therefore could not purchase the gun legally; and that (c) users of armslist.com could easily evade gun laws with a simple ‘click of a mouse.’ Armslist’s conduct was a proximate cause of Jitka’s death, and it, like Smirnov and the gun seller, must now be held accountable.”
Vesely claims that “a recent undercover investigation by the City of New York of online firearm sellers found that 62 percent of private gun sellers agreed to sell a firearm to a buyer who said that he probably could not pass a background check.
“In the undercover sting, more than half of Armslist’s gun sellers agreed to sell a gun to someone who said he could not pass a background check, in violation of federal law.”
Armslist calls its site a local classifieds list for guns, but “Armslist clearly intended the website primarily for illegal interstate gun sales,” Vesely claims.