Washington, D.C., February 12, 2020 – Today, on behalf of the family and estate of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer, Brady Legal and co-counsel John Kimbal of Blank Rome and Patrick Dunphy of Cannon and Dunphy, filed suit against Armslist, an online gun marketplace. The suit was filed in federal court in Wisconsin, where the gun was initially sold.
Commander Bauer was killed in the line of duty, shot by Shomari Legghette using a Glock 26 9mm handgun that was purchased in a private sale facilitated by Armslist.com. This is the fourth lawsuit Brady has brought against Armslist for people who have been killed or injured as a result of guns sold through the website.
Brady Legal Chief Counsel Jonathan Lowy explained:
“Today’s suit seeks justice for the family and estate of Commander Bauer, who was killed in the line of duty by an individual who should not have been able to get his hands on a gun, but was able to because of the thriving, anything-goes Internet gun marketplace. Commander Bauer’s family bring this suit because they want guns to be sold legally and responsibly, and they do not want another family to suffer as they have. Irresponsible gun sellers and online marketplaces should clean up their act, or expect to be held accountable. We look forward to proving our case in court.”
John Kimball of Blank Rome, Co-counsel in the case, said:
“Online gun sales by private sellers without proper background checks and other legal safeguards have posed a great danger for many years. As our complaint demonstrates, weapons sold in this manner too often end up in the hands of dangerous criminals with terrible consequences. This reality is well-known to the operators of the websites which promote these gun sales. Our lawsuit will show that Commander Bauer’s tragic death should never have happened and was a foreseeable consequence of allowing this online marketplace to freely operate.”
About the Case:
On February 13, 2018, Chicago Police Cmdr. Paul Bauer was on his way to meet with a city council alderman to discuss crime-fighting strategies in his district when he responded to a radio call on a fleeing suspect. Bauer pursued the fleeing suspect, Shomari Legghette. During the confrontation, Legghette took out a Glock 26 9mm handgun and shot Bauer six times.
Bauer’s weapon was still holstered and his radio and handcuffs were recovered next to his body at the scene.
Later pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Paul Bauer was shot to death by Legghette, a four-time felon, using a gun obtained illegally by a gun trafficker in a private sale, without a Brady background check via Armslist.com.
Cmdr. Bauer was a 31-year veteran of the Chicago police department and the highest-ranking Chicago police officer killed in decades.
About the Filing:
Commander Bauer’s widow has filed suit against Armslist for enabling Shomari Legghette to obtain the firearm which he used to shoot and kill Cmdr. Paul Bauer. Armslist intentionally created Armslist.com as an online gun marketplace to exploit gaps in America’s gun laws and arm dangerous people by facilitating illegal gun sales and purchases.
Armslist.com is the largest online marketplace for firearms, facilitating the sale of thousands of firearms across the United States without background checks. Because of this, sales facilitated by Armslist are a major source of crime guns – weapons used and retrieved at the scene of a crime – in the U.S. Armslist frequently enables criminals to buy and sell guns online.
About Brady Legal:
Brady has represented victims of gun industry negligence for over 30 years, and has won over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in cases brought by Brady for victims and survivors. Brady also has won landmark precedents holding that gun companies can be held legally responsible for the damage caused by their irresponsible business practices, and has forced gun dealers and manufacturers to reform their practices to prevent sales of guns to dangerous people. Brady has won victories in the Supreme Courts of Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Alaska, and appellate and trial courts in California, Florida, Mississippi, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and other states.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.