Smith & Wesson Sues New Jersey on Constitutional Grounds

Smith & Wesson is bringing their case to court in New Jersey. (Photo: Smith & Wesson)

Smith & Wesson is filing suit against New Jersey seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, claiming that the state’s actions against the company are in violation of the Constitution.

New Jersey is a proving ground for a new tactic being used to target gun manufacturers by anti-gun lobbies, by claiming gun companies’ marketing campaigns are false advertising.

As a result, New Jersey is taking actions against Smith & Wesson by issuing subpoenas seeking any evidence of fraud relating to advertising, a move that S&W says is being done “to suppress and punish lawful speech regarding gun ownership in order to advance an anti-Second Amendment agenda that the Attorney General publicly committed” to pursuing, according to the lawsuit.

“The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech no matter whether the government disagrees with that speech,” Smith & Wesson argues. “Indeed, governments throughout history have abused their power by punishing speech to suppress dissent and harm political opponents.”

“The only fraud here is the Attorney General’s abuse of his position to suppress a political viewpoint with which he disagrees.” Smith & Wesson called it “an unconstitutional fishing expedition.”

They argue that these policies and subpoenas are driven by “anti-Second Amendment activists.” (Photo: Smith & Wesson)

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New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) has been open about these tactics. “We’re going to name and shame,” he said, talking about targeting gun manufacturers. “I’m sick of our — mostly young — people getting wounded or killed by guns that are illegally trafficked into New Jersey.”

“Over the past year, we have been working with the State Police to release ‘GUNStat’ reports, showing where firearms used in crimes in our state come from,” he said in his announcement. “Our next step is to show which firearms manufacturers’ weapons are endangering our streets.

“It is my hope that bringing light to this topic will encourage these manufacturers to act responsibly and work with us to stop weapons they make from ending up in the hands of dangerous criminals,” Murphy said. “We must continue working to end the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”

“I’m proud to work the New Jersey State Police to show the links between manufacturers and crime guns,” added Grewal. “Firearms manufacturers have a real role to play in keeping us all safe, and in light of these reports, I call on them to put into place strong measures against straw purchasing and to invest in technologies that will make their products safer.”

Smith & Wesson argues that the “name and shame” policy is not about public safety, but rather to cause reputational and financial damage to gun companies. They also argue that most gun owners believe that gun ownership improves personal safety, and that can’t be the basis for any false advertising claims.

Further, Smith & Wesson’s suit claims that this attack is politically motivated, and is a violation of the “First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.”

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Charles Jennings December 27, 2020, 5:20 am

    I just went out and got a new S&W #686-4 357 Magnum.
    Hope everyone does.

  • bobs your uncle December 19, 2020, 12:51 pm

    I’m gonna buy another SW rifle

  • J Franks December 18, 2020, 1:28 pm

    Is New Jersey the California or Oregon of the east coast?

  • Zane December 18, 2020, 11:13 am

    Why should S&W be in trouble for having and making a great weapon when the political people that are in office are letting criminals loose. People are going to have to take charge them self vies if the courts don’t do something about allowing these criminals out of prison.

  • Jack Theass December 18, 2020, 11:01 am

    Guns & gun makers don’t commit crimes, people do. The Gov’s of these states should know that all too well, eh! Maybe we should all ban together & throw these tyrants in prison!

  • SD December 18, 2020, 9:21 am

    So you want to “stop weapons they make from ending up in the hands of dangerous criminals”? Here’s a thought; keep your dangerous criminals locked up where they belong. Problem solved!

  • J.C. December 18, 2020, 8:11 am

    It is correct that most criminals acquire their guns by stealing them. It is also correct that a Smith and Wesson revolver is one of the best home safety guns, which have been sold in the hundreds of thousands. Therefore when a criminal steals a gun is a high likelihood that he will wind up with a Smith and Wesson revolver. This is not Smith & Wesson catering to the criminals this is because Smith and Weston has a fantastic sales record for a wonderful firearm. Instead of trying to charge them for Fraud they should commend them for running an amazing historical business and putting many Americans into jobs.

  • marshall December 18, 2020, 8:03 am

    https://www.nj.gov/oag/oag/ag_bio.htm

    Write and or call the AG and his staff and tell em what you think

    • Clint December 18, 2020, 12:15 pm

      Flood the AG and his staff with emails, not just one. Send the same email everyday for a year…or 4.

  • michael December 18, 2020, 4:50 am

    I don’t own a S&W but I’m going to NOW ! Why is it the Ags never provide any PROOF ? From my understanding most firearms used in crimes are STOLEN by criminals that have lost their right to 2A. Which I do find UNCONSTITUTIONAL. If they are that hard of a criminal. Why do they put them back on the streets to committ another crime ? NY is where to NJ ? lol

  • ro December 17, 2020, 11:58 am

    so, read the article, twice…..what specifically did S&W do that was fraudulent? Fraud in most states has to be pled with particularity…..in other words, you have to state exactly what they did that was fraudulent. What was that….inquiring minds want to know (without us looking it up ourselves from an outside source)

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