TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today sent “cease and desist” letters to “ghost gun” manufacturers throughout the United States, ordering them to stop advertising and selling partially-built firearms – including assault weapons – in New Jersey.
Each of these companies sell nearly-complete firearms, often with the parts needed to finish them, and even train their buyers on how to complete these weapons. These companies call their products “ghost guns” because these firearms have never been registered and do not have serial numbers. In fact, these manufacturers have even been explicitly advertising “unregistered and unserialized builds” of assault rifles to New Jersey consumers via their websites.
“These weapons are illegal in our state. Your actions violate the laws of New Jersey and, if you do not stop these activities within 15 days, I will bring legal action against your company,” Attorney General Grewal warns in the letter.
Attorney General Grewal’s letter cautions each of the “ghost gun” makers that New Jersey law prohibits selling and possessing any combination of parts from which an assault firearm may be readily assembled. The sale and possession of such unregistered assault weapons is punishable by fines and imprisonment.
“As the chief law enforcement officer for New Jersey, I demand you stop selling and advertising unregistered and unserialized assault weapons to New Jersey residents,” Attorney General Grewal wrote. These restrictions on unregistered and unserialized assault firearms “promote public safety, since they enable law enforcement to trace these dangerous weapons back to their owners,” Attorney General Grewal added.
In addition to pointing out the potential consequences of selling “ghost guns” under New Jersey’s criminal laws, Attorney General Grewal’s letter warns gun makers that they face possible civil action under New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act for failing to advertise the “material fact” that possessing an unregistered assault weapon in New Jersey is a crime. The Consumer Fraud Act calls for penalties of up to $10,000 for a first offense, the letter explains, and up to $20,000 for a second offense as well as for each subsequent offense.
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