New York Attorney General Letitia James took action to stop national gun distributors from selling and bringing illegal ghost gun parts into New York. Following her landmark lawsuit against these distributors, Attorney General James filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against six of those gun distributors that sold and shipped unfinished frames and receivers to undercover investigators in New York. An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) found that these businesses sent thousands of similar unfinished frames and receivers to individuals in New York who later committed violent crimes.
“Every single day people across the country are losing their lives to gun violence,” said Attorney General James. “We cannot and will not allow our children and our communities to continue to live in fear that their school, parade, or grocery store will be next. Today, we are taking serious action to immediately stop these companies from illegally selling and bringing these dangerous ghost gun parts into New York. We will continue to fight to protect New Yorkers and bring justice to communities devastated by gun violence.”
Attorney General James is seeking a preliminary injunction against six of the gun distributors that her office sued. These six gun distributors were caught red-handed when they sold and shipped nine unfinished frames to undercover investigators in New York. They include Brownells, Inc. (Brownells), Rock Slide USA, LLC (Rock Slide), Arm or Ally, LLC (Arm or Ally), Rainier Arms, LLC (Rainier Arms), Salvo Technologies, Inc. (80 P Builder or 80P Freedom Co), and Indie Guns, LLC (Indie Guns).
In the filing for a preliminary injunction, Attorney General James asserts that these businesses sell these dangerous products with the intention that their customers will convert them into working firearms, and even take steps to assist them in doing so. Rainier Arms’ web page marketing an AR-15-compatible receiver links to a PDF of milling instructions, while Brownells offers step-by-step video instructions on finishing a Glock-compatible pistol frame, and a telephone support line where customers can ask for assistance. They also sell their products inside a “jig,” a plastic structure for the product that guides the user’s tools through the simple steps required to finish the frame. In the words of 80 Percent Arms, the jigs “make it ridiculously easy for a non-machinist to finish their [handgun frame] in under 1 hour with no drill press required.” This process is designed to be a workaround to avoid federal gun serialization, recordkeeping, and background check requirements. Once turned into a working firearm, these illegal weapons have been used to commit crimes and harm New Yorkers.
Attorney General James is asking the court to order these businesses to immediately stop selling, shipping, distributing, or otherwise supplying unfinished frames or receivers to any person or entity with a New York address.
Last month, Attorney General James filed a landmark lawsuit against multiple gun distributors for fueling the gun violence crisis and endangering New Yorkers. The nation-leading lawsuit alleges that these businesses violated several laws, including New York’s licensing laws, by selling weapons to felons and others without a background check. Attorney General James’ lawsuit stands out by detailing how these businesses repeatedly undermined the law and flooded New York’s streets with illegal ghost guns that harmed New Yorkers.
This litigation is led by Special Counsel James Thompson and Special Counsel Monica Hanna with support from Data Scientist Kenneth Morales, Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg, and interns Nick Leiber, Gertrude Abarentos, and Harry Reis, all under the supervision of First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy. The investigation was conducted by investigators Chad Shelmidine, Peter Schottenfeld, and Paul Matthews, all under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Jonathan Wood and Deputy Chief Investigator Edward Carrasco.