The state’s highest court issued an order that firearms manufacturer Smith & Wesson Corp. must comply with an investigative subpoena issued in October 2020.
The subpoena is part of an ongoing investigation into potential Consumer Fraud Act violations related to Smith & Wesson’s advertising, marketing and promotion of firearms to New Jersey residents. Instead of complying with the subpoena, Smith & Wesson responded by suing in federal court and challenging the subpoena as unconstitutional.
At that time, the state sued the company in state court to require it to comply with the subpoena.
On June 30, 2021, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of the state and required the company to respond fully to the subpoena. The company motioned for a stay from the New Jersey Supreme Court that would allow it to avoid compliance with the subpoena while the litigation continues, but the Supreme Court issued an order Aug. 9 denying that motion for a stay pending appeal without any noted dissent.
The U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed Smith & Wesson’s federal lawsuit on Aug. 2.
Per these court decisions, Smith & Wesson must respond to the state’s subpoena immediately.
“Today’s decision confirms what we have said from the beginning of the case: no industry is free to evade compliance with New Jersey’s consumer protection laws, even when they sell firearms,” said Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck in a prepared statement. “Smith & Wesson has tried in four different courts to get out of complying with a simple subpoena, and it has lost in every single one. After months of litigation, we look forward to moving the investigation forward.”
Smith & Wesson did not return to a request for comment by press time.
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