The State of Massachusetts says it has barred three out-of-state online weapons sellers from shipping illegal weapons to Massachusetts consumers and levied thousands of dollars in fines and civil penalties against the companies.
The court orders, granted by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frank M. Gaziano, stem from several suits Attorney General Tom Reilly filed last summer as part of an ongoing effort to combat the sale of illegal products to Massachusetts citizens over the Internet.
The online retailers named in these judgments are C & M Enterprises of Fort Gaines, GA; Copgear.net of Killeen, TX; and Martial Arts Gear, Inc. of Lafayette, LA.
The three defendants named in these court orders are among seven sued by Reilly following an undercover sting into Internet weapons sellers accused of selling and shipping stun guns, switch-blade knives, swords, nunchaku (a/k/a numchucks), throwing stars, sling shots and dirk knives to an undercover investigator in violation of state law banning the sale of such items.
Soon after the initial lawsuits were filed, four of the companies agreed to orders with the state banning all future sales of illegal weapons into Massachusetts, and paid $5,000 each in penalties. Those companies include Talley Security Products of Flagstaff, AZ, Lifestyle Fascinations of Lakewood, NJ, Bynoon.com of Dunlap,TN, and Discount Martial Arts Supply of Winnetka, CA.
In addition to permanently banning sales in Massachusetts, the court orders require these online retailers to place postings on their websites stating that they do not ship weapons into Massachusetts. They must also incorporate software that blocks orders to Massachusetts addresses.
The orders also require the online retailers to pay penalties to the Commonwealth for their illegal sales into Massachusetts. C & M Enterprises and Copgear.net must pay penalties of $35,000 each, and Martial Arts Gear, Inc. must pay $30,000.
Under Massachusetts law, the sale or possession of various weapons, such as switch blade knives, dirk knives, sling shots, throwing stars, numchucks, sword canes, and black jacks, is illegal. There is a separate statute that prohibits the sale or possession of electrical weapons, including stun guns. Anyone with questions about whether or not weapons they have are prohibited by Massachusetts law should check with their local police department.
These cases are part of an overall initiative by Reilly's Office targeting the sale of illegal or age-prohibited products in Massachusetts, such as alcohol, cigarettes, ammunition and fireworks.