NEWARK, NJ – One of the top firearm manufacturers in existence, Smith & Wesson, has brought a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey alleging the state’s attorney general is trying to contort false advertising claims, in an effort to curtail gun sales and ownership.
Smith & Wesson alleges New Jersey is engaged in an “unconstitutional fishing expedition” to try to curtail gun rights by using a new tactic: false advertising claims. https://t.co/yHRgsyNJdC @NickRummell
— Courthouse News (@CourthouseNews) December 15, 2020
The 57-page federal lawsuit that was filed on December 15th, purports that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is trying to employ a clever manner to subvert protections outlined in the PLCAA by using litigation under the guise of upholding consumer protection laws.
In order to better understand Smith & Wesson’s lawsuit against New Jersey, one first needs a little background on what the PLCAA is.
Basically, there was a period when gun manufacturers were getting inundated with lawsuits against them over their brand of guns being used in crimes committed by unaffiliated third parties.
Numerous states, localities, private groups and parties were trying to sue gun manufacturers because insert-gun-brand was used in the commission of some sort of crime. These lawsuits were coming in all directions, even though gun manufacturers themselves weren’t conducting their businesses illegally.
1. Smith&Wesson Brands Inc. filed suit Tuesday to block a subpoena from the New Jersey attorney general seeking information about its advertising practices. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal wants the company to turn over internal documents related to advertising guns
— StandUpForTruth (@WeStand4USA) December 16, 2020
The tactic was identified as a means to litigate gun manufacturers to their proverbial death with frivolous lawsuits.
The courts eventually recognized that, declaring that gun manufacturers cannot be sued just because a gun that they legally manufactured, distributed, and later sold through a licensed dealer would somehow wind up being used criminally down the line.
Smith & Wesson is alleging that AG Grewal – in the company and under the influence of anti-Second Amendment groups – is trying to find evidence of possible false advertising instances.
did they not function? bullets not included?
— JF Welsh (@jfwelsh16) December 15, 2020
Apparently AG Grewal had recently issued some administrative subpoenas requesting that Smith & Wesson “produce a vast collection of documents on a number of topics…on either legal issues or matters of current public debate,” regarding firearms.
The lawsuit filed by Smith & Wesson says that trying to examine any opinion shared by the company or it’s employees cannot be construed as evidence of fraudulent advertising:
“These statements of opinion should not be subject to review by State officials for ‘accuracy,’ and cannot form the basis of any investigation sounding in ‘fraud.'”
Just some of what the subpoena delivered to Smith & Wesson sought documents for pertained to the following:
- “any alleged position that guns enhance safety”
- the company’s position on whether their guns can be “legally carried and concealed by any consumer” while in New Jersey
- the company’s opinion on “whether the concealed carry of a firearm enhances one’s lifestyle”
- “whether having a Smith & Wesson firearm or other firearm makes a home safer”
Gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson Brands Inc has accused the state of New Jersey of infringing its constitutional rights through an "abusive" investigation of its advertising practices. @brenpiers https://t.co/F5BUny92vf pic.twitter.com/dkS62Ditmw
— Reuters Legal (@ReutersLegal) December 16, 2020
From how Smith & Wesson described the subpoena delivered to them by the AG, it’s nothing more than a “fishing expedition:”
“The remainder of the Subpoena constitutes an unconstitutional fishing expedition into virtually all of Smith & Wesson’s purported advertisements and marketing materials, going back decades.
“Moreover, as evidenced by the Attorney General’s close coordination with anti-Second Amendment Activists, this fishing expedition is aimed at obtaining documents for use by those anti-Second Amendment Activists.”
The lawsuit points to AG Grewal as having aligned with several anti-gun activist groups, such as Brady, Giffords, and Do Not Stand Idly By.
Another area pointed to was when AG Grewal, alongside Governor Phil Murphy and other anti-gun activists, signed on to a “name and shame” effort that would “show the link between specific companies and guns recovered from crime scenes in New Jersey.”
With this tactic having been employed by the AG, Smith & Wesson says it’s a mere veiled attempt at maligning gun manufacturers by linking their brand name with gun crimes:
“[The AG] implemented a ‘name and shame’ policy through which he presents to the public at large what he characterizes as a ‘connection’ between ‘crime guns’ and Smith & Wesson.
“In reality, however, the Attorney General is simply using the power of the State to extra-legally brand Smith & Wesson as a bad actor in an obvious attempt to cause harm to Smith & Wesson’s business and reputation.”
So @Smith_WessonInc is out here throwing punches. I like it.
"[I]n reality [NJ] 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."https://t.co/VpVNiUUQTQ
— Cody Wisniewski (@TheWizardofLawz) December 16, 2020
In short, the lawsuit brought against New Jersey is requesting that the courts prohibit the enforcement of the subpoena brought against the company by the AG.
It asks for the court to declare that the subpoena, and any investigation outlined in it, as violating the Constitution in numerous manners and that the subpoena falls under PLCAA protections (among a few other requested declarations).
On top of that, Smith & Wesson is also asking to be reimbursed for related costs in dealing with the matter and any “other relief as this court may deem just and proper.”
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Speaking of Second Amendment news, a Texas Democrat was recently mocked online for her attempts to attack the state’s Castle Doctrine.
Here’s an editorial previously written on the matter.
The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
AUSTIN, TX- In something that probably belongs in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” a Democrat state representative from Texas has filed a bill which would amend the Texas “Castle Doctrine” law. And this one is a doozy.
The bill, filed by State Representative Terry Meza (D-Irving) as House Bill 196 would require a homeowner to retreat prior to using deadly force in defense of themselves or their property,” she tweeted. However, it goes further than that, according to Breitbart.
“I filed this bill because the castle doctrine as it currently exists emboldens people to take justice into their own hands,” she continued. “While theft is obviously wrong, we have laws to address that.”
My bill HB 196 and my position on the Texas Castle Doctrine has been misrepresented in the news as of late.
It does not repeal the Castle Doctrine, and it does not restrict homeowners from using firearms in self-defense as applicable to current Texas stand your ground laws. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/CfDFJZedY0
— Terry Meza (@TerryforTexas) November 19, 2020
One can imagine in a state such as Texas such a law would have a difficult time passing. And Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is having none of it:
“The Castle Doctrine will not be reduced. We won’t force Texas homeowners to retreat,” Abbott tweeted. “Especially with the crazy ‘defund police’ ideas, homeowners need to protect themselves now more than ever. We will protect 2nd Amendment rights.”
Let me be clear.
The Castle Doctrine will not be reduced.
We won’t force Texas homeowners to retreat.
Especially with the crazy “defund police” ideas, homeowners need to protect themselves now more than ever.
We will protect 2nd Amendment rights. https://t.co/DgtxWE6y0S
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 9, 2020
Meza explained her position by tweeting:
“I don’t believe that stealing someone’s lawn ornament should be an offense punishable by death.”
One Twitter user clearly explained his opposition to Meza’s ill-conceived law.
— Gabe M. (@ratsmilk) December 9, 2020
In addition to the castle doctrine overhaul, Meza also filed other anti-gun bills on the opening day where bills could be pre-filed. She clearly must forget that she is in the state of Texas, not left-wing meccas like California or New York.
One of the bills, HB178 would prohibit the possession and transfer of a firearm magazine with a capacity of more than 10 rounds.
“High-capacity magazines are largely unnecessary in regards to hunting and self-defense,” she wrote in a letter trying to explain her insane plans.
“If it takes you more than ten shots to hit the animal you’re hunting, you probably shouldn’t be hunting.”
Meza did not explain what her experience with either guns or hunting entailed.
Aside from the so-called “safe retreat” requirement before using deadly force, the bill would also remove two crimes during which a person could use deadly force—robbery and aggravated robbery.
It is unknown if the following is a parody of Meza’s ridiculous law, but honestly, knowing liberals would it surprise anyone if this is in fact legit and it’s what she’s really thinking?
“Under the new law, the homeowner’s obligation is to flee the home at the first sign of intrusion. If fleeing is not possible, he must cooperate with the intruder. But if violence breaks out it is the homeowner’s responsibility to make sure no one gets hurt. The best way to achieve this is to use the minimum non-lethal force possible because intruders will be able to sue for any injuries they receive at the hands of the homeowner.
“In most instances, the thief needs the money more than the homeowner does,” Meza reasoned. “The homeowner’s insurance [will] reimburse his losses. On balance, the transfer of property is likely to lead to a more equitable distribution of wealth. If my bill can help make this transfer a peaceful one, so much the better.”
As we said, is this last part satire or parody? Probably. But if you look at the wackjob wing of the Democrat party, the AOCs, Tlaib’s, Pressley’s and Omar’s, is it out of the realm of possibility that there are actually Democrats who feel this way?
The good news is Meza’s bill has two chances of becoming law in Texas—slim and none.
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