top of page

Is the Brady Campaign setting up the widow of a fallen Chicago Police officer for failure?

By now most of everyone in the “gun world” are aware of the lawsuit filed against Armslist in a Wisconsin federal court. From link:

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the online gun dealer Armslist for facilitating the sale of a handgun that was used in the 2018 fatal shooting of on-duty Chicago police Cmdr. Paul Bauer. The lawsuit was filed in Milwaukee federal court on behalf of the family of Bauer, who was shot and killed in February 2018 in the Loop, allegedly by a convicted felon. The lawsuit was filed by the Brady organization, formerly known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has brought numerous other lawsuits that target the gun industry for negligence that leads to gun violence, including against Armslist.

“Gun Dealer” is a false statement. It’s a marketplace for private sellers that have to follow the law (it’s listed right when you go to the site). What’s interesting is the Brady Campaign is NOT listed as a party (plaintiff) in the lawsuit:

The Brady Campaign is listed as one the attorneys representing the plaintiff:

What this means is that while the plaintiff is being represented by them, it is NOT their lawsuit, as they are NOT listed as a party involved against Armslist, only providing legal services. This may be an issue for the plaintiff, as a similar case involving Armslist (Daniel vs Armslist) was struck down in the Wisconsin Supreme Court on 4/30/19.

From the Bauer lawsuit:

From the Daniel lawsuit decision by the WI SC:

When using Armslist, it is the buyer’s and seller’s responsibility (not Armslist’s) to abide by all state and federal firearms laws. Further, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has already heard a similar case and ruled against it. Even FURTHER, another case on this was decided years ago:

You get the idea. It’s been tried by the Brady Campaign many times before and has failed. So what’s the reason for it? See here.

Why are frivolous lawsuits filed?
Sadly, frivolous lawsuits are sometimes filed by plaintiffs who are suffering from a mental illness. But in most cases, frivolous lawsuits are filed for purposes of:

Harassing the defendant. Being sued is incredibly frustrating. Even if the case is meritless, the defendant has to expend time, energy, and financial resources to have the case dismissed. What’s more, the defendant’s reputation might be tarnished if people hear about the lawsuit and assume it’s legitimate. For these reasons, frivolous lawsuits are often used by plaintiffs as a way to harass defendants.

Generating media attention. Sometimes lawsuits are filed for no other reason than to generate buzz. Generally, these lawsuits are filed by advocacy groups who wish to bring attention to an issue.

What the Brady Campaign does is find a Plaintiff and provides legal services, but they keep their name off of the case as a co-party. Why?

What’s more, a defendant in a frivolous lawsuits can turn around and sue the plaintiff for malicious prosecution. A claim for malicious prosecution is a tort action, and damages include the costs of having to defend against the baseless lawsuit.

As council for the Plaintiff, they are not subject to any penalties of a counter lawsuit. That’s all on the plaintiff. Sure, they could provide the legal services still, but they themselves are NOT subject to covering the defendant’s legal fees and such associated with a frivolous lawsuit. It’s a way to try and take credit for a win, but wash their hands of it (in a sense) in a loss.

(A little bird flew by and whispered into our ear (hopefully the Brady Campaign will release a statement disproving this paragraph........)

Surely the Brady Campaign informed the Bauer family (the family of a fallen Chicago Police officer) of this and mentioned that Armslist could come after Erin Bauer for filling a case against them that has been tried many times before and resulted in the same conclusion. Surely they also wouldn’t lie to the Bauer family and say they don’t have to worry about this happening. Surely they didn’t say the Bauer family was “protected” from a retaliatory lawsuit (which isn’t true). And SURELY they didn’t pressure them into filing the lawsuit. Perhaps the Brady Campaign can make it clear that‘s the case, as they are an upstanding organization that would NEVER use victims for the sole purpose of harassing their nemesis (Armslist)......


-Case gets tossed and ruled against plaintiff

-Armslist counter sues (and they have every right to do so since this type of lawsuit against them as been done before by the Brady Campaign and failed every time).

-Brady Campaign doubles down and attempts to paint Armslist and gun rights organizations as the “evil gun people” going after a widow of a fallen officer and attempt to turn law enforcement against them.

To the Bauer family: you need to be aware of the people and organization you’re dealing with. They are looking out for their interests over yours:

The Brady Campaign told an Aurora shooting victim’s parents to file a hopeless suit against a gun dealer. The result was bankruptcy.

To the Brady Campaign: sign on as a co-plaintiff or re-file the lawsuit if you are willing to put your money where your mouth is. If not, it’s apparent you’re using victims for your own gain. Who are we kidding though, you turn vigils for dead children into political rallies, so it should come as no surprise.


bottom of page