Gun Dealers Shred California Law, SF Claims

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Out-of-state gun dealers sell illegal, large-capacity magazines in California by calling them repair kits, San Francisco’s city attorney claims in court.
     City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera sued 44Mag Distributing LLC dba 44mag.com, of Oregon; Exile Machine dba exilemachine.com, of Texas; Copes Distributing, of Ohio; and B & L Productions dba Crossroads of the West Gun Shows, of Utah, in Superior Court.
     Herrera sued on behalf of The People of the State of California.
     He claims the defendants market the bogus “repair kits” only to people who live in states that ban sales of large-capacity magazines, seeking profits “at the expense of public safety.”
     The defendants’ “repair kits” are actually “disassembled large-capacity magazines that are readily reassembled by the purchasers into brand-new, fully functional large-capacity magazines,” Herrera says in the complaint. “The online defendants are or should be fully aware that assembling new large-capacity magazines is precisely the purpose for which all or the overwhelming majority of their customers purchase them. And that is precisely how the online defendants market them: as new magazines that can readily be assembled. … The online defendants do not promote the sale of these ‘repair kits’ to residents of states that do not restrict the capacity of firearms magazines – demonstrating that their true purpose is not to sell repair kits but to subvert and circumvent California law. By their unlawful and unfair conduct, they profit at the expense of safety in California.”
     Large-capacity magazines hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
     “They have been used in many recent, high-profile mass shootings, such as the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, which killed 32 people; the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting, which killed 12 people; and the 2012 Newton, Connecticut shooting, where 20 children were killed alongside several of their teachers. Indeed, a researcher investigating the 1994 federal ban on large-capacity magazines and assault weapons determined that attacks with semiautomatics equipped with large-capacity magazines resulted in more shots fired, more persons hit, and more wounds inflicted per victim than attacks with other firearms,” the complaint states.
     California in 1999 passed a law banning the sale, manufacture or importation of large-capacity magazines. The law allows “grandfathered owners” – who bought large-capacity magazines before the law took effect on Jan. 1, 2000 – to own the magazines and take them to licensed dealers for repairs.
     The defendants use their phony repair kits as “a fig leaf” to help Californians break the law, the complaint states.
     The companies know they are “aiding and abetting … illegal activity” because, among other things, the repair kits contain more parts than grandfathered owners need to repair their magazines; the companies’ websites offer to disassemble large-capacity magazines for California buyers so they look like “100% legal repair/rebuilt kits;” and the FAQ sections on the companies’ websites say that people who live in states without firearms restrictions can “order the complete magazine so it would be silly to pay the extra fee for the exact same parts just in unassembled form,” according to the complaint.
     The companies refuse to verify that California customers own legal pre-ban large-capacity magazines, or are legally able to buy them under the Penal Code, before selling them the magazines, the complaint states.
     By selling the fake repair kits through the Internet, the defendants dupe customers into believing the kits are legal in California, though they are not, Herrera says.
     He seeks an injunction barring the defendants from selling the kits in California, and $2,500 in civil fines for each act of unlawful and/or unfair competition.

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