New Jersey has stricter gun laws than its neighbors, and don’t try to get around them by buying or selling online. That’s the message the state Attorney General’s Office aimed to send Wednesday as it announced another lawsuit against a gun seller that it claims violated the law by selling to the state’s residents.
A Nevada company allegedly sold six large-capacity ammunition magazines, including one that can hold 100 rounds, to undercover state investigators online, said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. The Attorney General’s Office earlier sent a cease-and-desist letter to the company, New Frontier Armory, but the seller “continued to advertise and sell illegal large-capacity magazines to our residents,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
New Jersey lowered the legal magazine capacity from 15 rounds to 10 as part of a package of gun-control measures implemented last year. The magazine ban gave gun owners until Dec. 10 to dispose of higher-capacity magazines; a lawsuit from gun-rights activists was unsuccessful in halting the ban before the December deadline.
The magazines are “illegal in this state because they enable a mass shooter to file more than 10 bullets at a time without ever having to stop and to reload,” Grewal said at a news conference. “And they are illegal in New Jersey because they have been used in some of the deadliest and most horrific tragedies in recent history. From Las Vegas to Orlando to Sandy Hook, [large-capacity magazines] have fueled carnage across the country.”
Because large-capacity magazines allow continuous firing without requiring the shooter to stop and reload, some gun-control efforts have been aimed at lowering the legal magazine capacity. “Violence that involves [large-capacity magazines] can result in more shots fired, persons wounded, and wounds per victim than other gun attacks,” the lawsuit said.
Gun-rights proponents have said laws like New Jersey’s won’t solve crime and chip away at the right to self-defense.
New Frontier Armory, based in Las Vegas, could not immediately be reached for comment. Other online sellers tracked by state investigators complied with New Jersey’s law, Grewal said.
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court in Essex County, is part of an attempt to crack down on online sales that, unlike in-store sales, can more easily circumvent state gun laws. In March, Grewal filed suit against a California company he alleged was advertising and selling parts for making assemble-at-home guns, illegal under New Jersey’s “ghost guns” law.
“Today we’re sending a strong message ... that we intend to be active on the internet,” Grewal said. “We intend to police the internet for actors like this that try to circumvent our laws and don’t abide by them.”
The state alleges that New Frontier Armory violated the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and state regulations. The company’s website said it would cancel any orders to areas where the products were illegal, but did not provide a notice that the orders were illegal for New Jersey residents, the lawsuit alleges.
The state is seeking damages and a court order to stop the company from selling into New Jersey, authorities said.
“This lawsuit should be a warning to the industry: If you sell deadly and unlawful firearms or magazines into New Jersey, we’re going to take action against you, too,” Grewal said.