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Smith & Wesson Files Federal Lawsuit against New Jersey AG, Alleging Suppression of Speech

By: Teresa Mull

Smith & Wesson is not sitting idly by as New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal does his best to curtail gun sales.

The firearm manufacturing giant filed a lawsuit yesterday alleging Grewal has been suppressing the company’s speech.

The lawsuit states, in part:

Following in the abusive footsteps of these repressive regimes, the New Jersey Attorney General has taken a series of actions to suppress Smith & Wesson’s speech, and with the intention of damaging Smith & Wesson both financially and reputationally. The most recent such action is the issuance of an administrative subpoena (the “Subpoena”) on October 13, 2020 that allegedly seeks evidence of consumer fraud relating to advertising – but in reality, it seeks 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 pursue.
The Subpoena presents no legitimate inquiry into any purported fraud, and instead targets mere opinions and other protected statements allegedly made by Smith & Wesson, such as (1) whether Smith & Wesson’s products are “safe,” make a home safer, or enhance one’s lifestyle; (2) whether an untrained consumer could successfully and effectively use a Smith & Wesson firearm for personal or home defense; and (3) whether private citizens should have the right to carry a concealed firearm. The only fraud here is the Attorney General’s abuse of his position to suppress a political viewpoint with which he disagrees.

The suit goes on to allege that Grewal and his anti-Second Amendment allies have been using “name and shame” campaign by connecting Smith & Wesson to gun crimes. The plaintiff cites “tactics employed by the anti-gun movement in the 1980s and 90s” during which groups side-stepped democratic measures by taking regulatory and legal action.

The case is a bold, punchily worded pushback (read it here) against a person and entity that appears to be bullying a classic American company that has done as much to promote gun safety as it has its own products.

New Jersey, of course, is no friend to gun owners. NJ.com reports the Garden State has the “second toughest gun laws in the nation,” after California, with laws banning “assault weapons,” limiting handgun purchases to people 21 and older, requiring separate ID cards for buying long guns and handguns, proof of a “justifiable need” to carry a gun, and an ID to buy handgun ammunition, among many other things. Basically, if there’s a gun control mandate out there, New Jersey has made it law.

Thank goodness Smith & Wesson isn’t sitting back and letting the state and attorney general get away with any more attacks on the Second Amendment. Here’s hoping the court adheres to the Constitution.

Teresa Mull (teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.

Photo from https://www.smith-wesson.com/

 
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