Gurbir Grewal
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

By Lee Williams

When I worked at a newspaper in Delaware, I was intimately aware that if I strayed across the border into New Jersey with any weapons, ammo or mags and got caught, I would likely spend the rest of my life in a state prison.

Back then, New Jersey officials were content with only targeting individual gun owners, either those who weren’t familiar with their crazy gun laws, or those from free states who may have taken a wrong turn.

Nowadays, things are different. New Jersey officials are actively targeting citizens of other states, who may have never even set foot in New Jersey.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is using “undercover” detectives to entrap firearms retailers and manufacturers – especially those in other states – in the hopes that the exorbitant fees and penalties he will extort from them will force the owners out of business.

This is a new kind of gun control.

So far, AG Grewal has targeted retailers who sell firearm components designed for home-builds and, of course, those who sells standard-capacity magazines.

Even the judges are in on the AG’s scheme. A New Jersey state court recently ordered a Florida firm to pay the state $150,000. Their crime? They refused to turn over their customers’ names and addresses to the Attorney General.

Grewal v. 22Mods4ALL

According to the civil complaint, 22Mods4ALL is a small, mom-and-pop retailer with less than 10 employees located in Longwood, Florida. 22Mods4ALL sells ARs and AR components, as well as the accessories you’d expect. (They actually have 5.56 in stock at $0.66 per round.)

I reached out to them seeking comment for this story, but have not heard back. I can’t say I blame them. They’re up against a team with unlimited resources paid for by taxpayer dollars. Besides, the prosecution seems very personal. Whoever wrote the civil complaint Grewal’s office filed against the small shop has a flair for the dramatic. It’s based upon emotion, rather than facts.

The complaint begins in El Paso, where the author describes a mass murder committed by an AK-47 and “extra magazines capable of holding at least 30 rounds of ammunition each.” Then he carts the reader off to Dayton, Ohio, and describes “a shooter equipped with an AR-15 style rifle, a 100-round drum magazine, and 250 rounds of ammunition.” Then it’s Parkland, Florida’s turn, followed by Tucson, Arizona and then, finally, New Jersey, where the author defines “large capacity magazine.”

“To prevent gun violence, and to mitigate the risk of mass shootings, the State of New Jersey has long banned possession of large capacity ammunition magazines (“LCMs”) — firearm magazines capable of holding more than the standard number of rounds provided by the manufacturer,” the complaint states.

You’ll notice that New Jersey’s LCM definition is flawed on its face. AR manufacturers designed 20- and 30-round magazines for the rifle – that’s the “standard number of rounds provided by the manufacturer.”

high capacity magazines
Things you can’t buy or own in New Jersey. (Dan Z. for TTAG)

Regardless, the penalties are very clear: “Any person who knowingly possesses an LCM is guilty of a fourth-degree crime, punishable by fines of up to $10,000, and by a term of imprisonment of up to eighteen months,” the complaint states.

22Mods4ALL – allegedly – sold six 30-round magazines to “to New Jersey undercover detectives from the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice (“DCJ”),” the complaint states. During a second purchase, the gun shop allegedly sold the detective three more. The Attorney General then sent 22Mods4All a cease-and-desist letter, which the gun shop honored. It stopped shipping mags to New Jersey, but that wasn’t the end of the malicious prosecution.

“The Attorney General also demanded Defendant provide the details of all past sales of ammunition magazines capable of holding fifteen rounds or more to any New Jersey address since January 1, 2014, including the name and address of the purchaser and the specific ammunition magazine purchased,” the complaint states.

In other words, the AG wanted the names of any New Jersey residents who may have bought a magazine, which would likely have been followed by a knock on their front door. That may have been too much for the good folks at 22Mods4All who, evidently, respect their customers’ privacy and don’t want to see any of them carted off to prison.

“Defendant, despite repeated attempts at contact, has ignored the Subpoena for months. As a result, the CFA authorizes the Attorney General and the Director to obtain a judgment from the Superior Court directing compliance with the Subpoena,” the complaint states.

Last week, a New Jersey judge ruled that the gun shop owners must pay a civil fine of $150,000 for not cooperating with the AG’s subpoena and turning over a list of its customers’ names and addresses.

Legal reaction

The New Jersey AG is weaponizing his office to push a political agenda, according to former Florida prosecutor Lisa Chittaro.

Last year, Chittaro ran for State Attorney of Sarasota County, but lost in the Republican primary to the incumbent. She had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association in the race.

“This is a crafty and questionable use of litigation,” Chittaro said. “Because of their elected position, this seems designed to impede and attack a legitimate business – a business that did not target the citizens of that state – for the sole purpose of attacking the Second Amendment.

“This attorney general is trying to harness access and regulate the spread of the internet, and hold a legitimate business accountable,” Chittaro said. “This is an attack on the free market, an attack on the Second Amendment – it’s an attack. They are using their office as a political weapon. They are pushing through their political agenda of gun control, and they are overreaching into the state of Florida. New Jersey is trying to put a legitimate Florida firm out of business.”

Takeaways

In my humble opinion, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has two reasons for his cross-border shenanigans. First, he wants to make a name for himself. That much is very clear. Second, he wants to close down gun shops – as many as he possibly can – because of his anti-rights political agenda.

As bad as AG Grewal tries to paint them, the good folks at 22Mods4All look like heroes. They should be commended for protecting their New Jersey customers – if they have any, of course. Standing up to a bully sounds good, but they’re standing up to a bully who can put them out of business. That takes balls – big brass ones. The problem is exacerbated because AG Grewal desperately needs a win – something he can show off to his constituents.

Right now, Attorneys general from 24 states have filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn New Jersey’s ban on standard-capacity magazines.

“The Amici States the Attorneys General serve are among the forty-three states that permit the standard, eleven-plus capacity magazines that New Jersey has banned…and have advanced their compelling interests in promoting public safety, preventing crime, and reducing criminal firearm violence without a magazine ban such as the one here,” the brief states.

I certainly hope the Justices will take up the case. In the meantime, someone needs to take a hard look at Attorney General Grewal. He is clearly misusing the powers of his office to further his own political agenda.

There’s a term for that. It’s called public corruption, and it’s always been a problem in the Garden State.

 

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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with permission.

 

73 COMMENTS

    • Tar and feathers needs to make a comeback. Had it continued to be the norm for political abusers of power, we would never be this bad off in the former land of the free. These people think they are untouchable and elite, when they are neither.

    • His hat is evidence that he is not really an American. No real cowboy would be caught dead in that, unless he died from a head wound.

      • If a cowboy has already died of a head wound, it’s highly unlikely that somebody’s gonna bother to bandage him up. The BIG thing to do is to get him under dirt, before he begins to stink.

        It’s the Law of the West.

    • The only thing worse than an anti-gun politician is a citizen whose best response is religious bigotry. You’re why the left has success making people uncomfortable about gun owners.

      • So making a comment that might hurt someone’s fragile little feelings is WORSE than swearing to uphold the Constitution so that one can use a position of public trust to destroy the lives of those who try to live by its tenets?

        There is one way, and one way only, to never have to hear a “hurtful” word again.

      • In response to the religious angle, Grewal was the butt of jokes by two NJ radio personalities working for NJ 101.5FM. “Dennis and Judy” are two annoying radio employees who made the mistake of targeting Grewal’s Sikh headcover and were thrown off the air for it. An on-the-air verbal apology was given.
        Grewal is nothing more than a thrall of Filthy Phil Murphy, the arrogant and hypocritical billionaire governor who cares more about his donors and Prog agenda than he does about the citizens and economy of NJ.
        When the time comes the wife and I plan on relocating to Texas. NJ is not the place you want to live in or retire in.

        • Well, if the voters of Neuu Joisey hadn’t voted for Fill, they wouldn’t be stuck with him. You gets what you votes for. I don’t know if the NJAG is a voted office or an appointed office, but either way, the voters of Joisey have only themselves to blame for their rotten to the core politicians.

      • If your Virtue Signaling Flag were any bigger, you’d need to get some help waving it about like that.

    • If he indeed Sikh then he is required to wear a small sword or dagger called a Kirpan. A bit questionable for someone advocating Gun-control like this NJ AG. Gov. Nikki parents are Sikh and we do have a small community here in the UpState. Not to be mistaken for the religion of Peace, complete different!
      I bet he’s Sikh in name only, poser.

  1. a few years ago one of the gunbot engines led us to 22mods4all which, admittedly, seemed like a super hoky name for a legit bidnis. they had a sort of amalgam of product in their bildkits, but the prices were spot on. if i was ar happy i’d have spent alot more time there.
    this pull start needs to go.

  2. Florida and it’s governor, who has been courting conservatives heavily, should stand up to NJ and provide the defense for this business against this interstate overreach. One of the original purposes of separating the states in a federal system instead of just making them districts under a central government was so that different states, whose citizens had different interests and principles, could do different things and everyone would not be forced into a homogeneous system.

    Also, Gubir Grewal is supposed to s Sikh. Sikhism requires one to defend the innocent and helpless and be armed at all times. All of the Sikhs I know carry a small ceremonial knife openly and a handgun concealed. Grewal needs to be cast out by his fellow Sikhs, whatever the Sikh version of excommunication is. If they do not censure him in some then it reflects badly on Sikhism in general.

    • As it reads, it appears that the dealer was selling magazines illegal in NJ and shipping them to NJ addresses. If so, they were essentially abetting NJ residents in breaking NJ law.

      • Or they had the statement that all companies do that buyers are responsible for knowing their own gun laws and are subject to state sanctions if they violate those laws! Where are the entrapment charges against said straw buyers? Why can’t federal charges be brought?

      • Or rather NJ residents were still able to exercise their rights!!! And had to go to Florida to do it… this should be a lesson to them and everyone else also!!!

      • Hogwash, serpent. It isn’t their responsibility to know all the unconstitutional “laws” the lefty jerkoffs passed in their state.

        One must be cognizant of the ban and intentionally breaking it to be “abetting”.

        • Some offenses specifically require intent. Otherwise, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

          And, really, is anyone with an interest in firearms ignorant of how oppresive NJ’s rerstrictions are?

  3. Nothing “new” about it providing you know what you are looking at. For years the democRat Party attempted to whitewash its despicable history of race based atrocities by pointing their fingers at the south or dixiecrats. Fact is democRat Party atrocities which includes Gun Control was alive and well in North, South. East and West.
    If such atrocities were confined to the south as democRat Party history rewrites want fools to believe why are the sleazy tactics straight their Jim Crow Gun Control Playbook being used in New Jersey which is in the North? You cannot have it both ways, Rat Party whitewashers.

    • They’re trying to. It’s been working its way through the legislature. It made it through the senate and went into committee. I believe it is now currently stalled in the house. I haven’t heard anything further in a couple of weeks, so hopefully it might have died there.

      The bill would require anyone wishing to purchase a handgun to take a training class and obtain a permit. I’m not sure if the training class was required everytime someone wanted to buy a gun, but I wouldn’t be surprised. Never found a clear answer on that one.

      • Hoping for death by committee then as we do not need another NY pistol permit state especially when all it can take is one activist judge to keep a lid on concealed carry permits which is on the menu for Supreme Court and go Rensselaer. With any luck that gets shot down before you guys have to deal with that clusterfuck.

  4. I have built several rifles from 22Mods4All kits and all were solid. I sold a really nice side-charging AR from them before Virginia passed “universal background checks.” (but that’s another story.) If you want to support them with a gun purchase, go for it.

    • Thank you for the info. I saw some decent priced BGCs on their site, and in stock, but with no reviews. Between wanting to support them after reading the article and this, I’m going to pull the trigger, so to speak.

  5. If I was the Florida, I would do my job and defend the citizens and their business against all radicals regardless whether the wore a diaper on their heads or not.

    • Yeah, I caught that, too. Some judicial jackass in NJ is going to fine a FL company for something not at all important in FL? Hey, pucker up, fella, here’s my rosy red ass. Or, come on down here and try to collect it!

  6. I’m not aware of any law that requires a seller to maintain records of parts and accessories. Sure, there are sites that retain order histories, but I don’t think they’re required to. And FWIW I would prefer to deal with sellers that don’t.

  7. Any non-new jersey citizen that becomes prey of the predators in New jerseys jack booted criminal system should file multi billion dollar civil rights lawsuits in their state and request injunctive relief and intervention by their states AG. If said AG refuses, a multi billion dollar civil rights lawsuit should also filed against their own AG.

    Make it lucrative for heavy hitter law firms to get involved.

  8. Gurbir Grewal is the spawn of Indian immigrants. He might as well be an unassimilated immigrant himself considering his authoritarian proclivities.

    There are others like him in government and they’re succeeding in turning the USA into a socialist crap hole.

  9. So, what is the actual legality of what he is doing? He cant really think he is going to win against a business that operates outside of his jurisdiction.

      • NJ, like CA, is impossible to live in without breaking the law. That’s what happens when a place goes blue.

      • No, they are not subject to New Jersey law. The residents that ordered parts may have broken NJ law, but the FL seller certainly did not.

        • I was rather hoping that an attorney, or even a non-attorney spokesman who had spent the night at a Holiday Inn, would weight in on this.

          On its face, it would seem logical that a civil subpoena issued by a NJ state judge on a business in another state would have no legal merit, as the laws of one state do not apply to residents of another state while they are in that other sovereign state; That being the case, a civil judgement imposed by the same NJ judge would have no legal standing on the same out-of-state resident or business, and would be unenforceable except if the business or resident had assets within NJ, or physically had a presence in it such as a store, warehouse, or agency.
          Florida is not likely to enforce either the subpoena or to try to collect the judgement, nor is NJ likely to try to send NJ State Police to Florida to search the business records or try to collect, either.

  10. Governor DeSantis must act. Until our sovereign state withdraws from the corrupt union completely we must proceed step by step. Hold social media corporations responsible for banning Floridians, nix vaccine passports, ban CRT in public schools. Florida needs a shield law to protect our citizens from the acts of other states and the federal union.

  11. What’s the point of being an elected Leftie if you don’t abuse your power and sh*t on the people of your State.

  12. Remember, these government goons think it’s ok for a group of disadvantaged young thugs to beat you to death, and anything you do to protect yourself is excessively violent.

    • The state budget is in the negative cause our shithead govener forced shut down all the local business while keeping major corperations (aka walmart and amazon) fully functional. Now they are complaining and wanting to increase fees and taxes on hard working ciitzens to make up for their bad policies. Add to that the amount of cronisim and corruption within the local government as well

  13. I think my local shop has the best policy: The are a Gunbroker dealer and flat out refuse to ship to Nazi states like New Jersey.

  14. I guess the company was not aware of gun laws as they should have been. It still appears to be entrapment though when police buy an article prohibited by the state from an out of state vendor and then sue for their customer list. It just shows that you can never trust authoritarian governments. Once they have enslaved their people they start working on free people outside of their domain.

  15. This note from SAF seems less informational than most of what they put out. Whether the “violation” was because NJ residents were physically present at the point of purchase, or used USPS for delivery is an important detail in fuller understanding of what NJ is attempting.

    Lawyers….why is this case different from any other case where a resident of NJ commits a real crime in another state? If an NJ resident commits a robbery in Texas, and is arrested/charged in Texas, can NJ legally require Texas to extradite the robber to NJ, and charge the robber with a crime in NJ?

    • The article says the gun shop “stopped shipping mags to New Jersey,” so the bone of contention must be that they were not merely selling to someone from Joisey, but breaking the law by shipping “illegal” product into the state.

      It’s there, but it could’ve been clearer.

  16. “the author describes a mass murder committed by an AK-47”.
    He must be delusional to think that inanimate objects walk around committing murder.
    It’s a clear sign of mental illness to believe that inanimate objects have a will of their own, as well as arms and legs to walk and commit crimes.

    ““The Attorney General also demanded Defendant provide the details of all past sales of ammunition magazines capable of holding fifteen rounds or more to any New Jersey address since January 1, 2014.”
    Up until 2018, fifteen-round magazines were perfectly legal in New Jersey, so if they comply with this demand, they will be turning over the names of law-abiding citizens.
    Many of us, myself included, bought 15 round magazines as recently as 2018, only to bet stabbed in the back when the incoming governor, Phil Murphy, banned 15-round magazines with no grandfather clause, depriving New Jersey citizens of property without compensation.
    We had something like 90 days to destroy our 15-round magazines or sell them out of state.
    And we did get rid of our 15-round magazines, but look, now New Jersey wants to go back and get a list of people who bought 15-round magazines back when they were legal in New Jersey! This ALONE should be grounds for invalidating the malicious prosecution and overturning that $150,000 fine against 22mods4all.

    I just sent a message to 22mods4all about this flaw in the prosecution.

  17. I always find it ironic that so many people who praise freedom and equality complain about the attacks on their religion but are fine with doing it to others. Then if someone brings up the hipocrasy they double down with insults.

    As for AG Grewal, this guy should be removed from office, disbarred and charged with violating the rights of every resident of New Jersey whether they own guns or not. Unfortunately the leftists have gained power in this state, as well as others, and act with impunity and outright contempt of the constitution. Sadly, until the Supreme Court grows a spine and finally lays down an interpretation proof ruling on the second amendment, specifically the “shall not be infringed” portion, poor people like this small gun shop will continue to have their rights violated and their lives ruined.

    Barring an epic ruling by the Supreme Court or in it’s failure to do so, civil uprisings, to quote Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket – “It’s a huge sh!t sandwich and we’re all going to have to take a bite”.

  18. I get the feeling that if the esteemed AG crossed certain state lines, he might find himself in trouble.
    Usually, Sikhs have much more common sense AND Constitutional sense, BUT once you go communist/socialist/ultra-leftist…none of that matters. The Sikh people that I know are AWESOME AS F*** and wouldn’t ever stand for this kind of BS.
    Oh well, it’s New Jersey, eventually it will wither and die like most other liberal states. It’s already dying as it is…people are leaving in droves. I went to basic training in Ft. Dix and I never want to go back, I know I’m not alone…

  19. “To prevent gun violence, and to mitigate the risk of mass shootings, the State of New Jersey has long banned possession of large capacity ammunition magazines (“LCMs”) — firearm magazines capable of holding more than the standard number of rounds provided by the manufacturer,” the complaint states.

    Is no one going to point out that 30 rounds is and always been the standard capacity for an Ak-47? . . . since you know 1947.

    • They seem to love those TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms):

      ATF, LCM, SBR, SBS, AOW, PMF (personally manufactured firearm), and the list goes on.

      Of course, it’s not 3 words, but we can never forget Rep. Carolyn “I don’t know what a barrel shroud is” Maloney’s classification of STTGU (Shoulder Thing That Goes Up).

  20. In that picture, New Joisy Attorney General Grubby GrowApair, really looks Sikhly insane.

    Did Grubby recently escape from a level 4 lockdown institution?
    I’m happy to see that the liberal pieces of excrement that voted this Sikh lunatic in got their money’s worth….

    He’s another one that requires quick remedial action, as in a cranial reorganization with permanent deformation via a wireless, high speed delivery system.

  21. I would say the gun dealer will probably spend as much money in court fighting the fine as he would have spent just paying it. New Jersey therefore wins either way.

    The buyers in New Jersey, assuming they ordered the magazines through the mail, are in deep shit. New Jersey probably will win in court to get the records of the people in their state that broke the law by buying the magazines. The buyers will then be fined and sent to prison and have a conviction record and now be ineligible to purchase guns and own them after they go to prison and pay fines. Their currently owned guns will probably be confiscated and even if they win in court to get them back it will take years and the cost will be 10 times to 100 times what the guns are worth making it not worth the effort to get them back.

    The result is New Jersey sends a message to their people that do not even think about buying banned magazines out of state and the dealers across the country get the message that they will be in big legal and financial trouble if they ship in any banned magazines to New Jersey so again New Jersey wins.

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