New York City sues companies over sales of unfinished firearms **Update** State files seperate suit

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams ran for office pledging to reduce violent crime, but since the Democrat and former NYPD officer has been in charge, major crimes have increased by a whopping 40% across the city. Now the mayor is taking action against five companies that he says violated city ordinances by shipping unfinished frames and receivers to a New York City address; one that was set up by the New York City Sheriff’s Office.

In a new lawsuit filed in federal court, Adams and other city officials allege that Arm or Ally LLC, Rainier Arms LLC, 80P Builder, Rock Slide USA LLC and Indie Guns LLC have not only broken that local ordinance, but have created a “public nuisance” in doing so, which allows them to use a law approved by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo last year empowering public officials and the general public to sue gun makers and sellers when their products are used in a crime.

While Adams and other Democrats from Joe Biden on down have sought to paint home-built guns (“ghost guns” as they call them) as one of the main reasons behind increasing violent crime, the number of home-built guns recovered by police in New York City are just a small fraction of the total number of firearms seized or recovered in recent years.

The number of untraceable ghost guns recovered at city crime scenes or seized through investigations has increased about 200% each year since 2018, when the first such weapons were discovered in the city, one official said.
As of June 14, the city has recovered 175 ghost guns, compared to 64 ghost guns through the same period last year, a second official said. In all, the NYPD recovered 270 ghost guns last year.
CNN analysis earlier this year of 2021 data found while ghost guns still make up a relatively small percentage of the total number of guns recovered by law enforcement, several cities reported sharp increases in the number of ghost guns recovered over time. San Francisco police told CNN they seized 1,089 guns in 2021, about 20% of which were ghost guns. In 2016, ghost guns made up less than 1% of total gun seizures in the city.

A 200% increase sounds like a lot, but it’s also the difference between seizing one gun and three. And while the NYPD recovered some 270 unserialized firearms last year, the vast majority of guns that were seized were store-bought and serialized by the manufacturer.

Every day in 2022, cops have taken 20 guns off the street, and arrested 13 people on gun charges, according to data released by the NYPD on Thursday. That amounts to about 2,600 firearms taken off the street, and — as of May 8 — some 1,693 arrests on gun possession charges.

If that pace holds, the department will seize more than 7,000 firearms and make 4,800 gun arrests by year’s end, NYPD data shows.

Both figures would be a sharp increase from previous years. Police seized about 6,200 guns and arrested 4,497 people on gun busts in 2021. In 2020, cops recovered more than 5,300 guns and arrested 4,280 people on gun charges.

Now, math was never my strong suit in school, but 270 out of 6,200 firearms in total doesn’t seem like a lot to me.

I understand that Adams is desperate to explain away his own incompetence at fighting crime by pointing his finger anywhere and everywhere he can, but “ghost guns” aren’t to blame for the increased violence in New York City. It’s the policies of Democrats like Adams and New York D.A. Alvin Bragg, as well as the decades-long hostility towards the right to keep and bear arms that are giving criminals the upper hand in New York, and while Adams may get some positive local press out of his latest lawsuit, New York’s violent offenders aren’t going to be stopped or even slightly impeded as a result of this litigation.

***Update***

It’s not just New York City filing suit. New York Attorney General Letitia James announced her own federal lawsuit against ten companies that she says violated state and federal laws by selling unfinished firearms to individuals without putting them through background checks first.

The businesses named in Attorney General James’ lawsuit are among the nation’s leading gun distributors. They include Brownells, Inc. (Brownells), Blackhawk Manufacturing Group (80 Percent Arms), Salvo Technologies, Inc. (80 P Builder or 80P Freedom Co), G.S. Performance, LLC (Glockstore), Indie Guns, LLC (Indie Guns), Primary Arms, LLC (Primary Arms), Arm or Ally, LLC (Arm or Ally), Rainier Arms, LLC (Rainier Arms), KM Tactical LLC, and Rock Slide USA, LLC (Rock Slide).

In her press release, James says that federal laws “prohibit the sale of unfinished frames and receivers,” though that is not the case. Even when Joe Biden’s executive order on so-called ghost guns takes effect in August, sales of unfinished (and unserialized) frames and receivers will be explicitly allowed to continue under the ATF’s new rule, though DIY “kits” that include all parts necessary to build a firearm will have to have the frame or receiver serialized and a background check performed on the buyer. James’ lawsuit claims these companies are trying to “evade federal law” by “marketing their frames and receivers as unfinished, and then selling to consumers directly,” but it’s not illegal to do so. They’re not “evading” federal law, they’re complying with it.

James also claims that “the difference between an unfinished frame and a frame is negligible, as is the effort required to convert the former into the latter,” which would be news to the ATF as well as any gun owner who tried to use an 80% frame or receiver as a fully functional firearm. James says the 80% frames and completed frames are “are virtually identical to the naked eye,” but in the eyes of the ATF the two are very different things. Honestly, after reading her complaint, it looks to me like she’s filed a press release and not a lawsuit, and her argument that these companies have violated federal law by selling unfinished frames and receivers should be laughed out of court at the soonest opportunity.