New Jersey sues dealer over sales of firearm magazines

New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal speaks during a news conference

New Jersey attorney general Gurbir Grewal speaks during a news conference on Nov. 16, 2018. (Julio Cortez/AP Photo)

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said Wednesday the state is suing a Nevada firearms retailer after it sold high-capacity magazines to an undercover investigator in violation of state law.

New Frontier Armory, of North Las Vegas, sold a 100-round, a 30-round and a 15-round magazine to an investigator earlier this year, Grewal said at a news conference announcing the suit filed in Superior Court in Essex County.

As of last June, New Jersey law bans magazines of more than 10 rounds, down from 15.

Grewal criticized the magazines as contributing to mass shootings and said that’s why Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed the bill in June reducing clip capacity.

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“We’re showing that we have zero tolerance for these lethal weapons,” said Grewal, who was appointed by Murphy.

A message left with the company was not immediately returned.

Grewal is seeking maximum damages, or $10,000 per violation, as well as an order barring the company from advertising or selling so-called large-capacity magazines in New Jersey.

The sting was part of the state’s effort to check whether firearms retailers were complying with state law. A total of five companies were notified of the limit and complied, Grewal said.

New Frontier Armory had previously sold the state investigator three 30-round magazines, but that led the attorney general to send a cease-and-desist letter.

The company said it would comply after it got the letter last year, but four months later the state’s investigator successfully bought the high-round magazines, including the 100-round, drum-style magazine, according to Grewal.

As for whether any state residents who might have purchased magazines over 10 rounds, Grewal said he expects his office would discover that as the case proceeds and that the state would hold people “accountable.”

New Jersey has barred what it calls large-capacity magazines since 1990, but the limit was reduced last year as part of a package of gun control measures that Murphy signed. Those measures gained momentum in the Legislature after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

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