Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed suit against a Nevada company that allegedly sold large capacity ammunition magazines (LCMs) online to an undercover state investigator, despite having received a cease-and-desist letter from the Attorney General’s office months before.
New Jersey law prohibits the possession and sale of firearm magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. LCMs allow a shooter to fire an unusually high number of bullets at a time, without requiring the shooter to even pause and reload. As a result, violence that involves LCMs can result in more shots fired, persons wounded, and wounds per victim than other gun attacks.
Filed Wednesday in New Jersey Superior Court, the State’s complaint against Nevada-based New Frontier Armory LLC alleges that the company has sold six LCMs to undercover investigators, including a 100-round magazine.
“Despite being put on notice that their actions violate New Jersey law and being directed to stop, New Frontier Armory has continued to advertise and sell illegal large-capacity magazines to our residents,” said Acting Division of Consumer Affairs Director Paul Rodríguez.
By continuing to sell LCMs to New Jersey buyers, and failing to disclose that these weapons are illegal, Rodriguez said that New Frontier Armory has shown complete disregard for New Jersey consumers and for our state’s consumer protection laws.
The state’s three-count complaint against New Frontier Armory includes two counts of violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act and one count of violating state regulations governing illegal products. The complaint alleges that 27 of the 30 magazines New Frontier Armory offered for sale in New Jersey could hold 15 to 100 rounds of ammunition, in violation of state law.
New Frontier Armory operates a walk-in retail store in North Las Vegas and sells firearms and related equipment and supplies online via its website. Among other things, Wednesday’s filing by the State seeks “immediate relief” to bar New Frontier Armory from advertising, offering for sale or selling LCMs to New Jersey residents.
According to the AG’s office, on Jan. 7, Grewal issued a cease-and-desist letter to New Frontier Armory demanding that it stop advertising, selling and/or shipping LCMs to New Jersey. On Jan. 22 of this year, the retailer responded that it had “notified our distribution center staff of your current New Jersey law.”
On May 23, an undercover state investigator purchased a 100-round magazine, a 30-round magazine, and a 15-round magazine from New Frontier Armory online. Six days later, the state investigator picked up the purchased LCMs at a New Jersey shipping address.
New Frontier Armory had also previously sold three LCMs to an undercover state investigator, bringing up to six the total number of LCMs illegally sold by New Frontier Armory to investigators.
The lawsuit alleges that New Frontier Armory engaged in unconscionable commercial practices and deception by advertising and selling LCMs despite knowing that their sale is illegal in New Jersey and without warning New Jersey purchasers that possession of LCMs subjects the buyer to criminal prosecution.
The lawsuit also alleges that New Frontier Armory engaged in “misrepresentations and knowing omissions of material fact” by falsely stating on its website that it would cancel any order that involved shipping LCMs to areas where they are illegal, and by failing to provide a disclaimer on its website cautioning that possession of an LCM by a New Jersey resident is a crime.
“Large capacity magazines are dangerous and have been disproportionately used in mass shootings, which is why they are illegal in New Jersey,” said Grewal in a statement.
“We warned New Frontier Armory that we had zero tolerance for their sale of unlawful magazines in our state, but they sold a 100-round magazine to our undercover investigator anyway. So we are suing New Frontier Armory for its illegal sales, and we’re going to seek the maximum civil penalties. This lawsuit should be a warning to the industry: if you sell deadly and unlawful firearms or magazines into New Jersey, we’re going to take action against you too,” Grewal said.
In addition to the state’s request to prevent New Frontier Armory from making any future sale of LCMs into New Jersey, the lawsuit seeks to impose the maximum statutory civil penalties and to disgorge any monies acquired by New Frontier Armory through its illegal sales. The suit also seeks a court order directing the company to post a clear statement on its website making clear that LCMs are unlawful in New Jersey.
In March, Grewal filed suit against defendant James Tromblee Jr., founder and owner of the California-based “ghost gun” company U.S. Patriot Armory and he announced criminal charges against individuals trafficking ghost guns into the state.