Smith & Wesson
Dan Z. for TTAG
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The effort by the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex to get around the Protections of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act continues, as the state of New Jersey has won an important fight over producing discovery documents. This is all part of anti-gunners’ efforts to deal a body blow to gun makers, in this case by conducting a fishing expedition and sifting through Smith & Wesson’s internal documents.

Last year, then-New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal subpoenaed Smith & Wesson, trying to force the manufacturer to hand over internal information regarding its marketing practices. The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex’s is conducting a coordinated effort to try to skirt the PLCAA’s protections by claiming gun makers are engaging in allegedly false and deceptive advertising.

Smith & Wesson refused to cough up the documents and sued the Garden State to block them. That suit was tossed out and the state filed their own suit to enforce the subpoena. This week, the New Jersey Supreme Court denied Smith & Wesson’s request to stay a lower court’s order to produce the documents, in effect ruling the manufacturer has to produce the documents.

AG Grewal — now working in the Biden administration — made no attempt to disguise what the strategy here.

“When I say that we need to be creative, this past fall I subpoenaed Smith & Wesson for documents relating to what I believe is their false advertising in New Jersey,” Grewal said early June during a virtual roundtable hosted by March for Our Lives, a Florida-based nonprofit that advocates for stricter gun laws.

The company ran local commercials that claimed “gun use would make people safer” without providing evidence or acknowledging New Jersey laws that limit where guns can be carried, Grewal said.

Getting access to Smith & Wesson’s internal documents was a way “to hold manufacturers liable,” he said.

Translation: We can’t get the PLCAA repealed any time soon, so we’re going to attack gun makers from a variety of angles using a number of different approaches. We’re going to bury gunmakers in lawsuits to drain cash and hey, of one of these succeeds, great!

This is lawfare, plain and simple. The gun control industry, which includes many state governments, wants to tie up gun makers and drain as much of their time and cash as they can. They can’t get what they want through legislation — at least they haven’t been able to so far — so they’re using the courts instead.

In an interview earlier this year, Grewal declined to respond to that interpretation or to elaborate on the Smith & Wesson complaint, saying only in general that “we are using all of our levers to address the issue of gun violence.”

“Our playbook is treating gun violence as a public health crisis,” he added.

Uh huh.

The goal here isn’t so much to win — though that’s a possibility — as it is to drown gun makers in paper, discovery requests, and legal costs. The recent lawsuit filed by Mexico — with Brady’s help — is part of the same strategy, as is New York’s new “public nuisance” law. The question now becomes, how long with gun makers be able to resist these attacks?

 

 

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74 COMMENTS

  1. I fled that demotator state over 30 years ago. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Maybe coumo will move there and become the commandant.

  2. They’re well organized and funded, whereas all we have are grassroots organizations funded by people who actually work for a living! Do NOT give them an inch, make em spend their money and spank em every chance we get!

    • “They’re well organized and funded, whereas all we have are grassroots organizations funded by people who actually work for a living!”

      and the isolate right is very proud of that.

      • Justifiably proud…because the only truly humane way to organize is when individuals voluntarily agree to work together.

        BTW, what do you think grassroots means?

        • “Justifiably proud…because the only truly humane way to organize is when individuals voluntarily agree to work together.”

          (see what I mean?)

          “BTW, what do you think grassroots means?”

          walked-on.

        • No, I do not see what you mean.

          Voluntarily working together is the opposite of being isolated and powerless — it means having the support of others while remaining free. It does require a modicum of courage, some individual effort, and some small tolerance for risk — but these are force multipliers, not drawbacks.

          Marching in lockstep with all the ants in some totalitarian hive is an easy way to feel both safe and vicariously powerful — but it is the opposite of freedom. It’s the preferred option of the cowardly, the frightened, and the vicious, as it provides a (false) feeling of both safety and vicarious power.

  3. How can any S&W marketing policies mean anything one way or the other when gun manufacturers don’t sell weapons directly to the public.

    New Jersey and the Feds determine who can buy a gun after a GOVERNMENT background check. S&W, Glock, Ruger, etc have nothing to do with that.

    • “How can any S&W marketing policies mean anything one way or the other when gun manufacturers don’t sell weapons directly to the public.”

      the goal is total control. of everything. what the s&w marketing policies mean is irrelevant except as they can be used or twisted to advance on that goal.

      “New Jersey and the Feds determine who can buy a gun after a GOVERNMENT background check. S&W, Glock, Ruger, etc have nothing to do with that.”

      the background check is now being applied to s&w etc.

      • “the background check is now being applied to s&w etc.”

        Bullshit, show me the 4473 S&W or any manufacturer fills out when a gun is sold.

    • Hypothetically, NJ could get a repeat of the tobacco lawsuits where internal documents showed that the tobacco companies knew cigarettes were bad for your health, but they claimed otherwise. They aren’t going to find S&W docs saying that they can increase their sales to criminals with a specific marketing strategy. The facts and the law are on S&W’s side. Instead of wimping out and settling, like Remington, I’d hire anyone able to practice law in NJ for $1M per hour. When they eventually win, NJ will be liable for all legal fees. NJ can’t declare bankruptcy, and this PR stunt could cost them billions. Something like that would put a stop to these stupid state and city actions.

      • “They aren’t going to find S&W docs saying that they can increase their sales to criminals with a specific marketing strategy.”

        NJ are probably looking for something like this: “With this sales campaign, we will be influencing both distributors and retail buyers in a demographic that most likely will adopt an attitude of invincibility; an outlook that the firearms will cover that demographic in a shroud of impulse to “do something” about Antifa, “cancel culture”, criminals. These firearms will feed the desire to be more powerful than all the cultural changes facing them. We researched existing data on which demographic is most likely to go full Special Forces, and shows a propensity to commit crimes with firearms. The data shows we are appealing to that same demographic. However, since we do not sell directly to retail customers, we are insulated from any legal action.”

        Something like the fictional example above. Or something that can be interpreted in such a way to convince an anti-gun judge to let the lawsuit go forward.

    • Cato…….It’s not about merit, it’s about bankruptcy. ” A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than 100 men with guns” , Don Coreleone in the Godfather.

      • Yes, that is, when those 100 men do nothing with those guns…….
        It is time to do something with our guns ! Plain and simple.
        A corrupt gov’t. far too abusive is a gov’t. not worth having.

    • Manufacturers create advertising and other marketing directed at consumers. That’s what the government wants from S&W. It wants company materials that would show that the manufacturer is targeting segments of buyers who are underage or irresponsible.

  4. Yes as the article says Gun Control Zealots will continue attacking from different angles not just advertising. This is what you get when over the years buffoons have given Gun Control Standing by letting the argument become perpetually all about Guns and little about the diabolical evil inherent with Gun Control.

    Giving front door or back door Gun Control standing is no different than giving slave shacks, nooses, cross burning, gas chambers, concentration camps, swastikas and other such filth standing. It’s not my fault Gun Control is viewed upon as deserving standing. Is it yours?

      • Seems you’re afraid to mention it, too. Why not just spell the word correctly? Is it because your admired gestapo and the Bolsheviks are two sides of the same coin?

        • “Why not just spell the word correctly?”

          because so many boards auto-moderate the word. it’s a habit now.

        • “Bolshevism is dead and has been for decades now”

          not at all – boolshevists are the ones behind marxism/communism/crt/antifa/etc. which is why debbie w. never ever mentions them and instead harps on other memes that play no role in present circumstances.

        • Communism is gone now. I know it gets your panties in a bunch. But get over it. You master race types were bought out by guys with names like soros, bloomberg, zuckerberg. It’s all one package now. Fascism.

          You, dacian and miner49er are playing on the same team now. If you weren’t so dumb as to believe in all that master race crap you’d figure that out.

  5. this seems a violation of the 4th, which requires a specific description of what is to be searched for rather than a “we’ll know it when we find it” dragnet.

  6. “Deceptive advertising” is also the basis of the lawsuit(s) against Remington in Connecticut, IIRC.

    Bloomie’s been busy with his strategery…

    • “Deceptive advertising”

      most advertising is “deceptive” – especially political advertising. could turn that legal approach in the opposite direction.

    • If Remington had fought their suit, PLCAA would have eventually protected them. Instead, Bloomie and gang get to keep using it until somebody else gets a PLCAA victory.

  7. ““gun use would make people safer” without providing evidence or acknowledging New Jersey laws that limit where guns can be carried,”

    that’s BS. Its not going to work in the end unless the internal documents reveal it was intentionally deceptive.

    Its not wrong or illegal to advertise something would make “people” safer in a general sense like S&W did. Car manufacturers do it all the time. Its not a requirement, at time of the advertisement, to provide “evidence” to support general sense advertising such as this and its not a requirement to state where that general sense advertising applies and where it does not.

    All that needs to be shown for such a general sense advertising, to satisfy truth in advertising laws or a legal challenge, is one case where just one person was made safer with gun use and that could have been repelling a home invader or self defense on the street some place and there are literally hundreds of thousands of cases of these every year including in New Jersey. That one case, that one person, can be anyone it could even be a police officer.

    On the other hand, if the internal documents reveal a deliberate intent to deceive by saying that … then…. its a different matte.

    But, in either case, the allegations made can compel turning over the documents

    • “On the other hand, if the internal documents reveal a deliberate intent to deceive by saying that … then…. its a different matte.”

      on what basis? s&w’s safety concerns consist of the proper safe functioning of the firearm – where or how it gets used simply is not under their control or their responsibility in any way.

      (this is in fact the basis for this power play. the ones behind gun control are after control. s&w is not in control of how their products are used, thus they intend to step in and assert control for “the general good” – meaning their good – and define safe use as being use that serves their interests.)

      • It depends on the context. If for example, this is only an example for explanation purposes in relation to your comments, S&W said – “Buy a gun now because gun use would make people safer”

        (to continue with the example) It changes it to apply to a broad audience to buy a gun implying that everyone who buys a gun will be safer and implies that if one does not buy a gun they will not be safer. In advertising there is a term for that type of inducement, its called (or was called at one time, its an old term) “fairy dusting” and its illegal. If S&W internal documents were to show they intended to do that “fairy dusting” then its deception. On the other hand if S&W just said “gun use would make people safer” then its just a generalized thing without direct inducement to buy and does not directly imply without a gun a person is not safe.

        The statement “gun use would make people safer” is true if even one person were made safer by gun use. On the other hand if S&W said “gun use will make people safer” then its implying that everyone who has a gun is safer and that’s not true even though some will be made safer.

        Then there is the issue of the use of the word “safer”. Does gun use make a driver safer from car accidents? Well, if we rev up the imagination engine engine a little one can come up with scenarios where it could be said that gun use makes a driver safer from car accidents. But the issue here is “safer” (a trigger word in advertising) has to be practical and realistic also and there is not a lot of apocalypse level road warrior stuff going on. So define “safer” in terms of gun use for everyone, not what you or I or some dictionary thinks, but the practical realistic that would make all people who use a gun “safer”.

        If S&W had said “gun use has been shown to make people safer” then this lawsuit would not even be happening because its demonstratively true even by New Jersey standards, and for any state in the country, and by government facts and figures, that “gun use has been shown to make people safer” in many cases of self defense and home invasion.

        The lawsuit, although it has a hidden agenda, is not about “s&w’s safety concerns consist of the proper safe functioning of the firearm – where or how it gets used simply is not under their control or their responsibility in any way” – its about how S&W advertised.

        This whole thing is the “tobacco lawsuits” all over again, all the lawsuits with their basis by the plaintiff of “public health crisis”. What is happening here with “gun use would make people safer” is the tobacco lawsuits parallel of the tobacco industry claims of “richer flavor” and “alive with flavor” for inducement but not telling the risks and deliberately hiding the risks of smoking. The gun industry parallel of the tobacco industry “richer flavor” and “alive with flavor” is “more safety” with gun use, “be safer” with gun use and that’s what the plaintiff is alleging basically, that the S&W statement “gun use would make people safer” was deceptive in that manner thus falsely advertised (due to deception).

        On the face of it right now I do not think S&W was trying to be deceptive, but the question remains for the plaintiff is if “gun use would make people safer” was or was not intended to be deceptive.

        If this proceeds there is going to be a lot to argue here, and different approaches. We will need to wait for the arguments to proceed to find out how the internal documents relate and in what context.

    • Politicians advertise all the time….”vote for me/my laws, I’ll make you safer.” Never get held to the fire for failure to perform to the advertisements. Of course, always at the loss of freedom, liberty, rights. If it weren’t for false advertising, politicians would have no advertising. It is their brand. Those who fear more for their safety than their freedom, deserve neither, and will surely lose both. Some old dead white guy….Benny or Tommy, I recall,

      S&W and all other gun industry companies that chose to play behind enemy lines, sadly, deserve to get what they get. Forrest Gump summed it up succinctly, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Play by the enemies’ rules in the enemies’ yard, lose by the enemies’ rules. Quit supporting the enemy and playing by the enemies’ rules. Distance from the enemy is one’s friend. DUH!!!!

  8. It is real simple. Gun companies need to stand together, along with their distributors. Any state brining crazy law suites to gun companies becomes persona non grata.
    No one sells anything, no ammo no repairs, no guns to any of the state agencies. All warrantees become null and void. They must make it publicly known. Let them fight over that one.
    I know this is a lot to ask, but if they don’t stand together they will eventually fall. They will hit that one judge who is as anti gun as the lawyers and will sink them.
    If they don’t do it now they will go down.
    I am going to guess that S&W will appeal of course so documents shouldn’t be shipped just yet.

    • “No one sells anything, no ammo no repairs, no guns to any of the state agencies. All warrantees become null and void.”

      in previous times that would be overreacting. but that certainly is the approach the ones behind gun control intend for us – cancellation. so the time for such reactions has come.

      “I know this is a lot to ask”

      it’s coming anyway, in fact it’s already here, so might as well get on with it.

    • Ronnie Barrett of Barrett Firearms……50BMG M82/M107/M107A1 and MRAD……fame already did that at least with Kommifornia and possibly other Libturd states. None for We The Little Peeps, then, none for Gobernment

    • The goal is harassment. Squelch free speech ala fakebook,tweeter and youtube et all. Bleed gun manufacturers dry. That offer to Newton “survivors” opened the floodgates…

  9. “Our playbook is treating gun violence as a public health crisis”

    heh. notice how they don’t address where or with whom the violence is occurring.

    • Would they call it knife violence or stab violence?
      I suppose its if you use a knife or a screwdriver.
      Gunm violence. I dont know where they find these violent gunms? I do know where you can find violent people though, and they’re much more numerous then gunms.

    • They gotta “church of the AR15” already. Having/carrying yer rifle is a sacrament. Led by a Moonie son. Not the Justin Moon of Kahr…

      • I was just reading the various case law regarding the right of Sikhs to wear their kirpan, very interesting.

    • They aren’t necessarily private, but rather internal. In other words basically records and documents and media and computer based files etc… that S&W uses internally to conduct normal business that are not covered by the legal shield of “proprietary” or excluded by some other legal premise.

      • Marketing docs are private to a company. Clearly you’ve never worked for a business before. That’s why they make you sign an nda before working with them as an agency. It’s funny to see the thinking of non business people that think marketing is some tv clips on a usb. It’s the entire strategy of the company including products, placing, pricing and promotion.

        • I think he means they are not legally protected as “private”. And that would be true. If u go back to the beginning u see that what they are asking for is basically what Jack said.

          An NBA is just an agreement that u don’t disclose anything. It doesn’t determine if documents are private or not even of may list specific things.

          Private documents for a company would be things not classed as proprietary but not for circulation and are restricted access.

          Marketing documents can’t be private in a company that advertises publicly, federal advertising laws say they have to be available for inspection by the ftc or courts. This is because the advertising was public and the documents were the foundation for that.

          Internal documents are those like jack wrote.

      • They should do what Remington did right? Send them all the inter company emails about memes and jokes are passed around. Send them thousands of cartoons like Remington did.

    • You can’t be compelled to create documents to comply with a discovery request. At the same time, you can’t destroy documents in anticipation of one. The answer is a good records retention policy that routinely destroys documentation when no longer needed.

      It’s tempting to keep everything these days when computer storage is so cheap, but that’s a mistake. Having seen discovery requests asking for “any and all documents related to X”, you are basically producing all the records of everything your company did during the timeframe in question.

    • You need to be willing to go to jail. Like Martin Luther King Jr. did. Now are white people willing to go to jail???
      I’m not asking to be mean. I think most white gun owners simply have no idea just how dangerous the government has become.

      • “Theres other automobile companies besides Ford.”

        Yeah, a Silverado will *splitch* your Possum ass just as good as an F-150… 😉

        • I wonder if the new electrics like Tesla are increasing the numbers of road kill because they are much quieter?

  10. Gun companies should refuse to comply just like the Christian bakers refuse to comply. And all their computer actions should be encrypted.

  11. Need to find the weaknesses in these flanking tactics. When it is found, sue for trillions of dollars to attract the best of the class action lawyers out there.

    The civilian disarmament industrial complex is the hernia mesh, the roundup, the zantac, the Paraquat of gun rights. There false and dangerous claims are worthy of multi trillion dollar pools for peaceable citizens to collect from.

  12. The gun community needs a self defense fund. I’m not talking about self defense insurance. Unless it covers things like being redflagged. Or being told to give up any gun business records. For any reason. The government is at war with the citizenry.

    Eric Holder in the Obama Administration attempted to blame Mexican drug cartel violence on the United States, while he was telling gun stores to sell guns to Mexican criminals.

  13. Looks like it’s time for someone to develop a hand held focused energy weapon… no bullets, no problem. I don’t care if I shoot a hole in a burglar, put an arrow in him or burn him clean through with a laser. No projectile? Not a gun.

  14. Issue that gone hurt Smith Wesson most the Brady Group settlemen took place in Massachusetts in 2000. Buy way Brady Group is behind law suites take place in San Diego California Mexico against Smith Wesson. Here what Brady Group settlement with Smith Wesson was about.

    SMITH & WESSON SETTLEMENT
    MASSACHUSETTS · MARCH 17, 2000
    In a major victory for public safety, the lawsuits spearheaded by Brady on behalf of cities nationwide to fight the gun violence epidemic led to a landmark settlement by Smith & Wesson. Smith & Wesson, consistently one of the largest gun manufacturers in America, agreed to significantly reform its sales practices to prevent supplying the criminal gun market and to include life-saving safety features.

    In 2000, Smith & Wesson agreed to change the way it designs, distributes and markets guns in exchange for an agreement to drop threatened lawsuits. The agreement marked the first big concession by the gun industry to the mounting public and political pressure for stronger gun controls.

    The deal contained nearly a dozen new measures, including Smith & Wesson’s agreement to withhold its weapons even from authorized dealers at gun shows unless every other seller at the show agrees to conduct background checks of purchasers. Smith & Wesson further agreed to only do business with dealers who pledge to release no more than one gun every fourteen days to the same purchaser, helping eliminate bulk purchases of handguns which often result in trafficking. The gun giant also agreed to sever its ties with dealers who sell a disproportionate number of guns that result in crime.

    Smith & Wesson also agreed to several new design standards, including installing trigger locks and developing “smart-gun” technology. This was a significant victory, demonstrating that gun makers can and will share in the responsibility to keep their products out of dangerous hands, and that gun makers can and will make their guns much safer.

    • S&W had just been purchased by some European consortium with dreams of grandeur, lost 80% of their investment before handing he company to the employees IIRC. At any rate that management is very gone, don’t hold it against the current company.

  15. Even if everything is being sold here and now, promotion actions are most likely justified as an investment in future sales, compress your marketing message. You do not need promotion if you are suffocating under a shaft of applications and your problem is small opportunities

  16. Was that clown born in this country? If not he wouldn’t understand the American psyche any more than Indonesia Barry did who was registered in college as a foreign student. Natural born should mean just that, not you’re qualified to be president if one parent is a citizen but you were born while that parent resided in Canada. See Ted Cruz.
    The clown should be forced to state EXACTLY what he’s looking for and what his eventual goal is and guarantee he is no just fishing.

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