NEW YORK, NY -(Ammoland.com)- New York state has filed suit against a slew of firearms retailers for selling unfinished frames and receivers.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced the lawsuit at a press conference in New York City. The lawsuit claims that these online firearms retailers are causing a public nuance by selling what she refers to as “ghost guns” to residents of the Empire State. The retailers include Arms or Ally LLC, Black Hawk Manufacturing Group, Inc., 80 Precent Arms Inc., 80P Freedom Co., Brownells, the Glock Store, Indie Guns, KM Tactical, Primary Arms, Rainer Arms, and RockSlideUSA.
The tactic of suing companies in the 80% business is not new but has been gaining steam across the country, backed up by anti-gun politicians and anti-gun groups such as Everytown and Giffords. California has sued Ghost Gunner and several other companies. Baltimore recently teamed up with Brady United to sue Polymer80, accusing the company of being a public nuance and causing a public health crisis.
In this case, New York State alleges that it was able to determine that these companies shipped 80% firearms kits into the State. It claims that these companies broke a recently passed state law by sending the 80% kits into the State. The lawsuit claims that some of the recipients of the products in question were prohibited from owning guns and had “[l]ong rap sheet history.”
The lawsuit also claims that the defendants broke federal law by selling these kits by implying these items are firearms. It highlights that the frames are not serialized, and buyers do not have to undergo a background check. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has never claimed unfinished frames and receivers are firearms. The ATF’s final rule on privately made firearms (PMF) is due to take effect in late August unless one of several challenges is successful in blocking the new regulation. It appears that New York might be applying the new rule now.
New York is demanding that the named companies stop selling the kits to anyone with a New York address or who might transport the kits into the state.
The state wants the companies to pay restitution to the state for violating state law and divest from any profits made from the sale of the kits. AG James also demands that the targeted companies pay all the legal fees associated with the case.
Most chillingly, the New York State AG demands that the named companies turn over all customer records for patrons living in New York State and who purchased an unfinished frame or receiver within the past five years. New York State laws against these items are not five years old, leading many gun rights advocates to wonder what the State will do with the information if the court orders the targeted companies to turn over all the customer records to an anti-gun AG.
None of the affected companies that AmmoLand News contacted agreed to comment on the new lawsuit. Most of the attorneys for the defendants have not had time to review the cases. One company that did speak to AmmoLand News, off the record, believes that New York State is using the legal system to bankrupt the companies.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.