New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is suing to Florida gun dealers over their refusal to turn over sales records to his office. Grewal wants to know if the firms sold any magazines banned in the state of New Jersey to residents, after investigators with Grewal’s office were able to purchase several banned magazines in an undercover sting operation.
After the two companies received a seize and desist letter ordering them to stop selling magazines to New Jersey residents, Grewal says his investigators haven’t been able to successfully purchase any of the banned magazines. That’s not enough. As NJ.com reports, the Attorney General is very interested in finding out who in New Jersey might be in possession of these magazines.
The suit, filed in Superior Court in Essex County, alleges the companies violated the Consumer Fraud Act by selling the high-capacity magazines. That’s punishable by 18 months in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal ripped both companies in a statement.
“Large capacity magazines are illegal in New Jersey, which is why I’m continuing to file suits against LCM companies that sell their products to our consumers,” Grewal said. “The companies we’re going after today have repeatedly stonewalled and withheld evidence from investigators, despite a subpoena. These lawsuits serve as yet another warning to the industry: hide the extent of your unlawful sales from our investigators, and we will see you in court.”
Clearly Grewal wants the records of any sales to a New Jersey address so he can prosecute every gun owner he can find. A violation of New Jersey’s ban on possessing or purchasing magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds is punishable by 18 months in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. It’s been difficult to enforce the law, and it’s estimated that the state has seen massive non-compliance and inventive efforts to comply.
Some gun owners have buried their large-capacity magazines in their backyard or behind sheetrock in their garage, said Eric Rebels, a local gun rights activist and owner of GunSitters, a secure firearms storage system company.
Others are opting to store them away from their homes.
“Thousands and thousands” of large-capacity magazines are stored currently at GunSitters in Whippany, where gun owners have handed over their large-capacity magazines, taking advantage of the storage option as litigation plays out, Rebels said. Some have turned over more than 100 magazines, which are held in a 3,000-square-foot steel vault.
In conjunction with County Line Firearms, a gun store in East Hanover where Rebels is a manager, they collect, catalogue and store as many large-capacity magazines as they can. It costs $1.25 per magazine a month to store it there.
Gun stores are legally allowed to store the banned magazines, but they cannot sell them.
The one thing Rebels said gun owners are not doing is handing their large-capacity magazines over to law enforcement, one of the choices state officials encouraged when the law went into effect.
Grewal seems bound and determined to make an example out of every New Jersey gun owner that he can, despite the fact that New Jersey’s magazine ban is currently being challenged in court, and a similar ban in California is on hold after a federal judge granted an injunction against the portion of the law banning possession of “large capacity”magazines. As legally dubious as the law might be, Grewal intends to enforce it as strictly as he can, even if that means going to court to compel companies to turn over their sales records. Even if he isn’t successful, he may be able to put these companies out of business by draining their resources in a prolonged legal battle.