SAF Joins Lawsuit Against NJ Attorney General Over 3D File Censorship Threats

New Jersey gun control 3D Grewal Attorney General

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The state of New Jersey has always held the Second Amendment in contempt. Now, as evidenced by threats made by the Garden State’s Attorney General, Gurbir Grewal, against codeisfreespeech.com and their hosting service, it’s now clear how little regard they have for the First Amendment, too.

Last fall, New Jersey enacted a law targeting 3D printed guns. In an effort to flex his statist muscles, AG Grewal recently threatened to prosecute Cloudflare, where codeisfreespeech.com’s files are stored.

As reason.com reports, Grewal sent Cloudflare the following threat:

This is a notice to Cloudflare that you are serving files consisting of 3D printable firearms in violation of NJ Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-9 3(l)(2). These files are accessible via Cloudflare’s New Jersey datacenter. You shall delete all files described within 24 hours or we will be forced to press charges in order to preserve the safety of the citizens of New Jersey.

The new law makes it a crime to

…distribute by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey who is not registered or licensed as a manufacturer as provided in chapter 58 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, digital instructions in the form of computer-aided design files or other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer to manufacture or produce a firearm, firearm receiver, magazine, or firearm component.

The law and Grewal’s threat to enforce it constitute an infringement on free speech rights. If New Jersey — or any other government agency — can decide that instructions for building a firearm aren’t protected free speech, there’s literally no limit to the First Amendment infringements that are possible. It’s the very definition of a slippery slope.

As a result, a lawsuit has been filed seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction against enforcement until the law’s constitutionality can be determined by the courts. The Second Amendment Foundation has just announced that they’ve signed onto the suit too, to support the efforts of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns and others.

Here’s SAF’s press release:

SAF JOINS 1st AMENDMENT CHALLENGE TO NEW JERSEY 3-D CENSORSHIP LAW

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment today joined several other organizations in a lawsuit against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against enforcement of provisions in a 2018 law that criminalizes constitutionally-protected speech.

SAF is joined by Defense Distributed, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns Foundation, California Association Federal Firearms Licensees and a private citizen, Brandon Combs. They are represented by attorneys Chad Flores, Daniel Hammond and Hannah Roblyer of Beck Redden LLP in Houston and Daniel L. Schmutter of Hartman & Winnicki, P.C. in Ridgewood, N.J.

The lawsuit contends that after New Jersey lawmakers passed the new statute last November, Attorney General Grewal censored the plaintiffs’ free speech rights by threatening to jail them or anyone else that violates a section of the law that criminalizes distribution of digital instructions that may be used to produce a firearm with a three-dimensional printer.

“This isn’t about firearms, it’s about freedom of speech,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “If Attorney General Grewal can suppress the sharing of technical information about the production of firearms components using modern technology, what else might he, or another attorney general choose to suppress at some future date if he or she doesn’t like it?

“Section 3(I)(2) of the law doesn’t criminalize conduct,” he observed, “it criminalizes speech, the mere act of sharing information. We are hopeful the court will recognize the Orwellian nature of this prohibition and conclude, as we have, that it is an unconstitutional abridgement of protected speech.”

The lawsuit notes that all types of digital firearms information are censored, including computer aided design files and other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model. Under the law, it does not matter whether anyone actually uses the information, only that it is available and “may be used.”

“With so much media attention on 3-D technology in recent months, the public has a right to know what the controversy is all about,” Gottlieb said. “But Grewal won’t allow that so we’re taking him to court.”

comments

  1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    The Commiecrat party is as much against the 1 st. amendment as they are the 2 nd.,anyone see a trend here,one of UnAmericanism by said party.

  2. avatar m.. says:

    hey, it’s nj goober-ment – they can do anything. remember, the gov. was going to give a state-of-the-state from a mosque?

  3. avatar NORDNEG says:

    I hate Democrat’s..🖕🏿🖕🏾💩

  4. avatar Nanashi says:

    Still crickets in Fairfax.

  5. avatar TFred says:

    “in order to preserve the safety of the citizens of New Jersey”

    How does one type this with a straight face!?

  6. avatar Defens says:

    What’s next Greywhale? Firefighters armed with gasoline filled extinguishers to force entry on any home with books you don’t like to conduct a little impromptu book burning? Hey, maybe string up folks whose religion you don’t care for as well?

    Courts need to bitch slap this SOB back to the 16th Century, where he belongs, But only after prosecuting, convicting, and imprisoning him under 18 USC Sec. 13 for conspiring to deprive citizens of civil rights. Of course, as an NJ politician, once in prison he can play basketball or poker with all of his fellow crooks who were elected or appointed to office.

  7. avatar 16V says:

    Thanks Cody!

  8. avatar Sam I Am says:

    “SAF is joined by Defense Distributed, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Calguns Foundation, California Association Federal Firearms Licensees…”

    What is the point of posting this article, and then commenting? Over and over, on TTAG, we have been told, in no uncertain terms, that these pipsqueak little organizations are just a joke, lacking the power, punch and influence of NRA. These legal Don Quixotes are going to lose, and set the NJ law in concrete across the nation. If NRA isn’t suing, there is no hope to win; it is all a waste of time and money that could really help NRA negotiate a mitigation of laws like the one in NJ (overturning such laws is hopeless, but NRA can make things not so bad). It takes backroom lobbying, not direct legal assaults to win victories for the right of people to keep and bear arms. These minor leaguers ought to disband so the professionals can get the real work done.

    1. avatar Defens says:

      Sam – I see what you’ve done there. Sweet.

      Gotta run – hit up the SAF website to donate a few more bucks…

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “Sam – I see what you’ve done there. Sweet.”

        We aim to please, so you aim too…please.

    2. avatar frank speak says:

      “NRA can make things not so bad”…sarcasm, of course…but definitive nonetheless…time to spread that money around a bit…

  9. avatar Hannibal says:

    Not only are they coming to take your guns, they’re coming to take the IDEA of you having guns.

  10. avatar PATRON49IFT says:

    Another example of how effed up NJ is politically. Our governor is a complete idiot, the AG is even worse. Gun rights go to NJ to die. Totally controlled by Democrat party. Just look at our two US Senators; one is a pedophile crook and the other is ‘Spartacus’, a bug eyed bozo who has delusions of running for president. God save us.

  11. avatar SouthernMaine says:

    Thank you. I feel much better now.

  12. avatar Sora says:

    NRA is NOT part of the lawsuit, which is why I’m keeping my 5 year membership to vote out the board and put in guys like Adam Krut.

  13. avatar Matt says:

    Cloudflare’s legal team should reply with “Nuts”.

    Get fuckt also works for me.

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