New York Man Gets 10-Year Prison Sentence for Building Guns

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New York's war on the Second Amendment has claimed another victim. Dexter Taylor, a software engineer from Brooklyn, has been sentenced to ten years in a state prison for building several firearms. Taylor wasn't accused of trafficking any of the home-built guns, but a judge still threw the book at him when he was sentenced this week.

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The Brooklyn District Attorney said the authorities recovered 13 weapons from the apartment of Dexter Taylor, 53, including assault weapons, handguns and rifles, prompting his arrest and conviction of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and other related charges last month, according to a news release. 

The DA's office said the investigating officers from the New York City Police Department found that Taylor ordered numerous ghost gun kits and parts from various online retailers that were shipped to the defendant’s address on Eldert Street in Bushwick. 

Police searched Taylor's apartment in April, 2022, seizing eight rifles, five pistols, about 50 rounds of ammunition, as well as reloading material, gun parts, and a 3D printer. During the trial, prosecutors claimed that Taylor had spent about $40,000 on parts and tools to build his own firearms, but again, there were no allegations that he was trying to traffic any of the guns from his collection. His most serious "crime" was building and possessing firearms without a license. 

According to Taylor's attorney, the judge in the case instructed them at one point not to bring "the Second Amendment into this courtroom", telling them "it doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York." 

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My colleague Jeff Charles at RedState has spoken to both Taylor and his attorney Vinoo Varghese, who indicates that both the judge's behavior and a Second Amendment argument are going to come up in his appeal.

Varghese recounted the sentencing hearing, saying the judge “started off by whining about the fact that she was mocked by people” on social media. Darkeh indicated that she chose not to read many of the comments made by outraged users on social media platforms. The judge rejected Varghese’s request that Taylor be given the minimum sentence of three and a half years. She argued that Taylor knew he was breaking the law and that she did not care about his political views.

“This is a guy who’s an engineer who’s done so much good in life, didn’t have a record, and you sentenced him to 10 years when you could have given him three and a half,” Varghese said.

Taylor spoke with RedState from Riker’s Island just before his sentencing. He is in good spirits despite his predicament, saying that he is “up and easy as usual” and “100 percent on mission and 100 percent uppity.” 

... The next step in the process is to appeal the verdict, according to Varghese. Indeed, he told RedState that when it was Taylor’s turn to address the court, he called this step “the end of the beginning.”

When asked about the possibility that Taylor could get bail pending appeal so he could fight his case from outside of prison, the lawyer said, “It’s something that Dexter and I will have to discuss further. The chances are slim to none.”

Varghese continued: “Remember, these are all political appointees, and I don’t see a judge granting him bail pending appeal. So we may try, we may try and pray, but it’s highly unlikely.”

Taylor remains optimistic and understands that he is not only fighting for his freedom but for all Americans who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights. When asked if he believes his case will impact how gun laws are reformed in the United States, he said, “It remains to be seen.”

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One could argue that Taylor is a political prisoner, held captive because New York refuses to recognize the plain text of the Second Amendment and the right that it protects. Taylor wasn't accused of any crime of violence, nor did prosecutors allege he was arming violent criminals by selling guns under the table. He's slated to spend years behind bars for essentially having a very expensive hobby without first getting permission from the NYPD. 

Just last week another Brooklyn resident received a three-year sentence for pulling a gun on a convenience store clerk. Dewayne Tripp, a convicted felon not allowed to possess a firearm at all, also allegedly violated the terms of his pre-trial release by testing positive for drugs on more than one occasion, as well as visiting an illegal gaming establishment, yet he'll be released from federal prison long before Taylor is able to leave the state penitentiary. 

Taylor's sentence is an absolute mockery of justice. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez is patting himself on the back for the successful prosecution, but he should be hanging his head in shame for sending Taylor to prison for a victimless "crime" that should be protected by the right to keep and bear arms.

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