Magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition are illegal to possess and sell in the state of New Jersey, at least for now. A court challenge to the ban was turned away by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals several months ago, and while the ban remains in effect the state’s attorney general is pursuing legal action against companies that sell the magazines to New Jersey residents, even if those companies don’t actually operate in the state.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sued Florida gun company Elite Aluminum over online sales to an undercover investigator via the websites DaytonaTactical and GunPartsPlus, and this week the AG announced a settlement in the case. In addition to paying $135,000 in penalties, the company has “voluntarily” agreed to stop selling “high capacity” magazines entirely.
In its suit, the Office of the Attorney General claimed that the company, Elite Aluminum of Florida, had sold 167 of the magazines, which allow guns to fire more rounds and limit time spent reloading, to 69 customers in New Jersey, where the high-capacity cartridges are banned.
“We will not allow merchants to flout the law of this state and put our residents at risk,” Consumer Affairs Director Paul Rodríguez said of Monday’s settlement, adding that the magazines are “disproportionately” used by mass shooters…
The dealer put the kibosh on all sales to New Jersey after the attorney general issued a cease-and-desist notice in January 2019. But when the company refused to submit a record of all previous buyers in the area, the state filed a civil suit in Superior Court.
So-called high capacity magazines make up about 50% of all ammunition magazines in the United States, and are commonly owned by tens of millions of gun owners across the country. In fact, the National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates that there are more than 70-million handgun magazines with a capacity of 10+ rounds in private hands, and another 80-million rifle magazines that can hold at least 30 rounds in existence.
California’s magazine ban, which is nearly identical to New Jersey’s, has been ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, though that ruling is on hold while the court considers an en banc review by a broader panel of judges. At some point the Supreme Court is likely to get ahold of one of these cases, but in the meantime New Jersey’s anti-gun Attorney General is going to continue to target gun companies if they’ve sold any so-called high capacity magazines to residents in the Garden State, and the impact could be felt by gun owners throughout the country.