Armslist sues Facebook, Instagram over deplatforming
Armslist LLC has sued Facebook and Instagram over its removal from the popular social media sites. The lawsuit seeks reinstatement only. No monetary damages are sought.
Armslist claims their removal was politically motivated, according to their lawsuit.
“Armslist frequently posted commentary supportive of Second Amendment rights and critical of certain proposed gun control measures and the political figures supporting these measures,” the lawsuit states. “In addition, many Armslist posts called attention to the use of firearms in stopping and preventing crime, the significance of firearms in American history and culture and the Constitutional protections relating to firearm ownership.”
Armslist owner Jonathan Gibbon said in January 2020 both Facebook and Instagram shuttered his private and business accounts without explanation.
According to the lawsuit, Gibbon said there is no basis for those actions. He claims no Facebook or Instagram policies were violated.
“Armslist doesn’t sell or market guns. It’s a site that is similar to Craigslist, and it drives traffic to its site by making posts on social media. To do that, they make posts supporting the Second Amendment,” Jay Carson, Armslist’s Cleveland-based attorney, told the Trib Live.
Armslist, according to lawsuit, has been sued in 2014 and 2018. The suits claimed Armslist was responsible for deaths caused by weapons that were purchased through its site.
The lawsuit noted that Armslist has a disclaimer that tells users to adhere to federal laws. The site, Armslist’s attorney said, serves as a marketplace and does not actively participate in or directly profit from weapon sales.
Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” cofounded Armed American News. Lee is also the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, and serves on the board of Florida Carry, Inc. Until recently, he was an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.