New Jersey AG threatens gun parts businesses

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New Jersey AG threatens gun parts businesses

I can buy a few steel pipes, a cap, a nail, and a drill from any home improvement store, and I can use that to work on my house or I can make it into a shotgun, which may or may not be legal depending on where I am. I’m not committing any crime until I actually commit a crime, nor is the home improvement store committing a crime by selling me pipes.

In a bizarre mashing of words, the Attorney General of New Jersey mistakenly believes unserialized and unregistered assault weapons are illegally being sold to New Jersey residents over the internet, and is threatening businesses with legal action if they don’t cease and desist.

He purposely confuses legal terms like “assault weapons” and made up terms like “ghost guns”, and associates illegal activity after the fact with the lawful selling of gun parts.

It is a crime to sell any functional firearm across state lines and over the internet without going through an FFL, especially firearms that are unserialized, and he is trying to blur the lines to include parts that are not legally defined as “firearms” without considerable legal (or sometimes illegal) work done by the purchaser. But that’s the point... by the purchaser. There is no crime until the purchaser does something that violates the law.

He is basically claiming that any business that caters to the 80% receiver market or sells any “not a firearm” part to a New Jersey resident is breaking New Jersey law.

That’s not how any of this works.

I can buy a few steel pipes, a cap, a nail, and a drill from any home improvement store, and I can use that to work on my house or I can make it into a shotgun, which may or may not be legal depending on where I am. I’m not committing any crime until I actually commit a crime, nor is the home improvement store committing a crime by selling me pipes.

If it’s illegal in New Jersey to build an “assault weapon” or manufacture a firearm without a license, then it is what it is, even if I personally think it’s absurd. But if I buy or own parts that are not illegal to buy or own, or if as a business I sell parts that are not illegal to sell, nor are they legally defined as firearms, then what basis does the New Jersey Attorney General have for going after these out-of-state businesses?

Expect lawyers to do lawyer things.

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