TRENTON, N.J. (February 5, 2019) — Today, attorneys for six advocacy organizations and one individual, Firearms Policy Coalition founder Brandon Combs, filed a new lawsuit and a motion seeking a restraining order and preliminary injunction against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The case was filed just days after Grewal’s Office of the Attorney General sent a threat of prosecution to Cloudflare, a major Internet services company headquartered in San Francisco, about www.CodeIsFreeSpeech.com. A copy of key court filings can be viewed or downloaded at www.codeisfreespeechlawsuit.com.
According to the complaint, on Saturday, February 3 the CodeIsFreeSpeech.com website’s act of republishing some of Defense Distributed’s digital firearms information “was met with yet another of Grewal’s Orwellian take-down orders,” demanding that Cloudflare “delete all files described within 24 hours or [Grewal’s Office] will be forced to press charges.”
“By issuing a takedown demand against” the entire website, “Grewal sought to compel the complete and total suppression of the political speech at CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, the links to other advocacy websites and their educational and political resources, links to political tee shirts, and even the very text of the United States Constitution itself,” the plaintiffs said in the filing. Attorneys for the plaintiffs also filed a motion seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Grewal. The Attorney General’s threats of prosecution and other civil enforcement actions under New Jersey laws, the plaintiffs say, violate their constitutional rights.
Last November, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed a new speech crime into law, in Senate Bill 2465. Among other things, it created a new “third degree crime” for “a person to distribute by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey” certain kinds of speech, including “digital instructions in the form of computer-aided design files or other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer…”
CodeIsFreeSpeech.com “is a publicly available website for the publication and republication of truthful, non-misleading, non-commercial political speech and information that is protected under the United States Constitution,” the complaint says. “Its purpose is to allow people to share knowledge and empower them to exercise their fundamental, individual rights. It was created and developed during the week of July 22, 2018—long before the State enacted Senate Bill 2465.”
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Chad Flores, Daniel Hammond, and Hannah Roblyer of Texas-based Beck Redden LLP and Daniel L. Schmutter of New Jersey law firm Hartman & Winnicki.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition, especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.
The Calguns Foundation (www.calgunsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves its members, supporters, and the public through educational, cultural, and judicial efforts to advance Second Amendment and related civil rights.
California Association of Federal Firearm Licensees (www.calffl.org) is California’s advocacy group for Second Amendment and related economic rights. CAL-FFL members include firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, collectors, gun owners, and others who participate in the firearms ecosystem.
Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
Defense Distributed (defdist.org) is a non-profit, private defense firm principally engaged in the research, design, development, and manufacture of products and services for the benefit of the American rifleman. Since 2012, DD has been headquartered in Austin, Texas.