New Jersey Sues California Company Over ‘Ghost Guns’

By | March 25, 2019

New Jersey’s attorney general announced a lawsuit Friday against a California company that sells mail-order firearms parts that can be turned into working weapons, the first such action the state has taken since it banned so-called ghost guns last year.

The lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that Apple Valley-based U.S. Patriot Armory and owner-founder James Tromblee Jr. violated New Jersey’s consumer fraud laws when it advertised and sold gun parts to an undercover investigator last month.

The company was sent a letter in December asking it to “stop advertising, offering for sale, and/or selling ‘ghost guns’ and ‘ghost gun’ parts to New Jersey residents,” according to the suit. But in February, an investigator for the attorney general’s office ordered parts for an AR-15 assault rifle. The shipment was received this month, according to the suit.

According to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, 15 other companies that received similar letters have either posted warnings to potential New Jersey buyers on their websites or removed the state from lists of available shipping addresses.

The lawsuit seeks civil penalties and to stop the company from shipping parts to New Jersey.

A phone message seeking comment was left Friday with the company.

“Ghost guns” are unregistered weapons that don’t have serial numbers. Companies sell the nearly complete weapons, often along with the parts needed to finish them, as well as training so the firearms can be completed.

Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law last fall that made it a crime punishable by up to five years in prison to buy gun parts for use in making firearms with no serial numbers. It’s also a crime to possess an unregistered assault firearm in New Jersey, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

“By advertising and selling dangerous and illegal ghost guns to New Jersey residents, failing to disclose the criminal liability buyers are exposing themselves to, and affirmatively misrepresenting that these guns are legal to purchase, this company has shown blatant disregard for New Jersey’s consumer protection laws,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Paul R. Rodriguez said in a statement.

The company is about 60 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

Topics Lawsuits California New Jersey

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.

Latest Comments

  • March 29, 2019 at 2:49 pm
    sak74 says:
    mrbob......thank you for the additional information! That does make sense and I would imagine a common criminal would not go to the expense or trouble of having the equipment... read more
  • March 29, 2019 at 1:41 pm
    mrbob says:
    What the State is attempting to stop is the sale of what are referred to as 80% lowers. These are blanks of aluminum that are partially machined and then the purchaser will fi... read more
  • March 27, 2019 at 3:05 pm
    sak74 says:
    I am admittedly no expert, but in order to make the parts an actual weapon don't you need the lower receiver? It was my understanding (and again I am no expert) that all lowe... read more

Add a CommentSee All Comments (8)Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


More News
More News Features