“Accountability for Online Firearms Marketplaces Act of 2021” (S. 2725)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Full co-sponsor list viewable here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2725/cosponsors
Filed in the U.S. Senate and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
This bill seeks to amend Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 230) by striking “No provider” and inserting “Except as provided in paragraph (3), no provider” and inserting the following language:
“(3) TREATMENT OF PUBLISHER OR SPEAKER DOES NOT APPLY TO ONLINE FIREARMS MARKETPLACE.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an online firearms marketplace, for purposes of any claim in an action brought against the online firearms marketplace in its capacity as an online firearms marketplace.”
According to the bill, an online firearms marketplace is defined as an interactive computer service that:
“(A) facilitates transactions related to firearms, firearms accessories, firearms equipment, and other firearms-related materials;”
“(B) advertises or makes available any posting or listing of any statement by a transferor or by a transferee that could be reasonable inferred to propose the transfer of a firearm; or”
“(C) makes digital instructions in the form of Computer Aided Design files or other code that can automatically program a 3-dimensional printer or similar device to produce a firearm or complete a firearm from an unfinished frame or receiver, regardless of whether such transactions or other activities violate the terms of service of the interactive computer services.”
In attempting to strip Section 230 coverage for online firearms marketplaces, this bill would remove current liability protections from those online markets simply because they operate in a digital space.
The obvious intention is to target companies who operate modern, virtual sites for the buying, selling, and trading of firearms, parts, and ammunition. With liability protections removed, these sites would be subject to aggressive “lawfare,” frivolous but expensive lawsuits, with the intention of driving them out of business.
The intent of this bill is simply to restrict mediums in which the people can access modern markets to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms.