Smith & Wesson is suing the State of New Jersey after Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) issued a subpoena for several decades’ worth of the gunmaker’s advertising materials.
Smith & Wesson is requesting a New Jersey federal court’s intervention to stop the subpoena, which is allegedly seeking to determine the veracity of false advertising claims against the iconic firearms manufacturer.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
“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 complaint from the company said. “The most recent such action is the issuance of an administrative 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.”
Grewal’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said New Jersey’s subpoena is part of a concerted effort to hobble the gun industry through frivolous court proceedings. Such probes are meant to “get to discovery” in the hopes of forcing gun companies to agree to new regulations in legal settlements, according to Keane.
“They will … try to impose through settlements [gun-control] measures they can’t get passed through Congress or in the states,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “It’s regulation through litigation.”