U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- New Jersey’s tyrannical Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, is adding to his dubious list of anti-Second Amendment activism. On 15 December 2020, Smith & Wesson sued Grewal, asking for relief, for using his office to violate the First Amendment, Second Amendment, as well as the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections of the U.S. Constitution.
Defense Distributed won a significant victory in September of 2020, with the Fifth Circuit agreeing Defense Distributed could sue AG Grewal in Texas. The case is ongoing and alleges Grewal violated Defense Distributed’s First Amendment rights.
The Smith & Wesson lawsuit is about a subpoena issued on October 13, 2020, by Grewal, alleging fraud on the part of Smith & Wesson, for advertising with claims such as Smith & Wesson products are safe, or they enhance a person’s lifestyle.
1. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to free speech “no matter whether the government disagrees with that speech. Benjamin Franklin articulated it this way: “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government . . . . When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved.”1 Indeed, governments throughout history have abused their power by punishing speech to suppress dissent and harm political opponents.
2. 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 Amendment agenda that the Attorney General publicly committed to pursue.
3. 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.
Grewal is expanding one of the lines of attack against the Second Amendment pioneered in Connecticut, where private parties sued Bushmaster in an attempt to avoid the protections given by the United States Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
The lawsuit was allowed to proceed because it claimed Bushmaster violated a broad and vague provision of Connecticut consumer law. They claimed the lawsuit was valid, under the theory Remington had illegally marketed the rifle by “glorifying its use to civilians.” That appears to be a direct violation of Remington’s First Amendment rights.
Gurbir Grewal is a Sikh, not a Muslim or Hindu. He was born in New Jersey of Indian immigrant parents. Grewal seems to be ignorant about guns. He grew up in an extremely restrictive firearms environment. New Jersey is one of six states which does not have protection for the right to keep and bear arms in its constitution. The other five without such a provision are California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, and New York.
Grewal’s foundational philosophy appears to be a form of progressivism. Progressivism detests the concept of the Second Amendment in its bones.
With the unwillingness of the Court to take on Second Amendment cases for 10 years, many Second Amendment supporters were hopeful the appointment of three originalists by the Trump administration would break the logjam.
Now, the same supporters are wondering if the Court will uphold the First Amendment, or nullify the First Amendment when it comes to Firearms.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.