Lawsuit Utilizes Firearms Public Nuisance Legislation Signed By Governor Murphy in 2022
TRENTON, NJ – Yesterday, in a major victory for accountability in the gun industry, Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, and the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statements after New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin filed civil complaints against three firearm industry companies to hold them accountable for alleged misconduct that has harmed the health and safety of New Jerseyans. These lawsuits were filed through the first-in-the-nation Statewide Affirmative Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Office and made possible by the firearms public nuisance legislation passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in 2022, which enables the Attorney General to bring lawsuits against gun industry members that fail to follow New Jersey’s gun laws at the expense of residents’ health and safety.
“These lawsuits are a major step forward in our fight to hold bad actors from the gun industry accountable for the damage that their reckless behavior can inflict on our communities,” said Benedicte Callan, a volunteer with the New Jersey Chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud Attorney General Platkin for taking such strong action to combat gun violence and making sure that New Jersey’s strong gun laws are followed by everyone – especially the gun industry members who have gotten off scot-free for so long.”
“For decades, the gun industry has found new ways to make, market and sell the deadly weapons that are fueling our gun violence epidemic, without the same pathways to accountability that exist for any other consumer product industry,” said Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President for Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Thanks to the leadership of gun-sense legislators in New Jersey, we are now seeing a future where bad-actor dealers can be held accountable for blatantly irresponsible or illegal behavior. Everytown applauds Attorney General Platkin for his swift action to utilize this innovative new law to ensure public safety.”
The three companies named in the lawsuit are: FSS Armory, a New Jersey licensed gun dealer, and two Pennsylvania-based gun companies, Patriot Enterprises Worldwide LLC, a gun show company known more commonly as Eagle Shows, and Not An LLC, a ghost gun products vendor doing business as JSD Supply. New Jersey is seeking monetary and punitive damages, injunctive relief and asks that the defendants pay accrued and future costs that the State and others incur as a result of the public nuisances these defendants have created.
In an average year, 427 people are killed by guns in New Jersey and another 874 are wounded. Gun violence costs New Jersey $5.3 billion each year, of which $168.9 million is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in New Jersey is available here.