By Nicole Silverio
New York filed suit against ten national gun distributors Wednesday, alleging they illegally sold so-called “ghost gun” frames and receivers to the public.
The lawsuit, filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that the defendants sold the “unfinished” frames and receivers without a background check or traceable record of sale. The defendants allegedly violated federal law of selling firearms without a serial number in order for law enforcement to trace them during a crime scene.
The 10 distributors include Blackhawk Manufacturing Group, Salvos Technologies, Brownells Inc and Indie Guns LLC, according to the suit.
“In Defendants’ own words, the products they sell are ‘ridiculously easy’ to convert into fully operable and completely untraceable firearms. Nonetheless, despite their illegality, Defendants continue to sell these products into New York State,” the lawsuit said. “Defendants persist in endangering the health and safety of the public by delivering to private individuals everything they need to make a deadly firearm at home.”
Consumers can use these products to assemble a firearm within 30 minutes and sell it for up to $2,000, the suit said. The suit said these parts fall out of the federal definition of a firearm and are therefore able to sell them without following laws and regulations surrounding the purchase and sale of guns.
The frame refers to the core part of a pistol or handgun and the receiver is the core of a rifle, shotgun or other long gun, according to the suit. (RELATED: ‘I’m Prepared To Go Back To Muskets’: New York Gov. Hochul Rages Over SCOTUS Overturning Concealed Carry Law)
New York Attorney General @TishJames is suing 10 national gun distributors for “fueling the gun crisis and endangering New Yorkers.”
Per AG- these gun distributors sold and shipped ghost gun parts to New York addresses – pictured below
The lawsuit will be filed in state court pic.twitter.com/EDS0lt5jcr
— Morgan McKay (@morganfmckay) June 29, 2022
The suit alleged that one of the defendants, Brownells, sold “ghost guns” to an individual with a criminal background and used one of the firearms in a triple shooting that killed one and injured two others in the Bronx. The individual also received shipments from Glockstore and Primary Arms, according to ABC News.
“Defendants’ illegal market and business practices permitted the killer to acquire a working firearm without any of what they refer to as ‘RED TAPE,’” the suit added.
Christian Waugh, a Florida attorney representing Indie Guns, said New York is “creating problems that give them political platforms” by vilifying law-abiding gun manufacturers.
“This is a politically-motivated effort to vilify a small business that has violated no constitutional federal, state, or municipal law. Craft guns are not a problem. The escalating violence in our big cities is caused by bad policies, such as disempowering economic policies or simply unfunded police departments — not craft guns. This lawsuit seeks to deflect blame from the voters who will hold them accountable.”
“Sadly, these lawsuits are also a concerted but groundless attempt to once again burden and limit the rights of New York residents under the Constitution only days after the Supreme Court of the United States rebuked New York City for other unconstitutional restrictions on those rights,” he continued.
Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ office announced the city filed a lawsuit against five online gun retailers for the alleged sale of so-called ghost guns.
The Supreme Court struck down a New York law Thursday that required “proper cause” for a person to obtain a license to open carry a handgun in public. The majority opinion, authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, argued the law violates the 14th Amendment by preventing law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.