Illegal gun, accessories operation in New York leads to arrests

Illegal gun, accessories operation in New York leads to arrests
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The state of New York was relatively quick to ban so-called ghost guns. The idea of homemade, unserialized firearms made them extremely nervous, so they banned them. Heaven forbid people get a gun without asking for permission in the form of a NICS check–that was, of course, before they got really stupid with their gun control scheme.

Of course, we told them at the time that it wasn’t going to stop bad people from making guns for bad purposes.

I guess they didn’t believe us.

I also wonder if they’re starting to now.

Attorney General Letitia James and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force dismantled a ghost gun trafficking ring that operated in Queens and Suffolk counties.

A 438-count indictment was unsealed Dec. 1 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Peter Vallone charging two Suffolk residents and a South Carolina man from a gun trafficking operation that illegally sold 47 firearms, including ghost guns that were shipped to New York and Pennsylvania from various online retailers before being assembled.

The indictment charges Fritz Pierre-Louis, 46, and Devon Smith-Martin, 26 — both from Suffolk County — as well as Hakeem Soloman, 26, of Sumter, South Carolina, with trafficking numerous ghost guns — weapons without serial numbers or other identifying markers — including assault weapons, machine guns and semiautomatic pistols. The gun trafficking operation also sold rapid-fire modification devices, silencers, high-capacity magazines, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In total, the investigation led to the recovery of 57 firearms, 51 of which were ghost guns.

It should be noted that suppressors are tightly controlled, Class 3 devices that are in the same legal category as a machine gun. I’m not quite sure what they mean by “rapid-fire modification devices” specifically–it could be bump stocks, binary triggers, or a host of other things–but if it’s bump stocks, well, those are completely banned now with no grandfather clause for those who had them previously. Granted, no bump stocks are shown in any of the photographs, but it’s still worth considering.

Basically, this arrest kind of shows just how little gun control actually does to criminals.

Sure, they’ll make more out of the “ghost guns,” because those are the scary things they want people to be afraid of, but the fact that these guys were selling suppressors is particularly interesting.

You see, one of the constant arguments revolving around arrests like this is that these things come from states where they’re still legal; that if other states would follow New York’s lead, this wouldn’t happen.

However, suppressors are controlled at the federal level. There are reams of paperwork to fill out, approval from law enforcement, then approval for the ATF all required prior to taking possession of a suppressor.

There is no “buy it in another state and bring it to New York” to it.

And yet, here we are. These alleged criminals reportedly had suppressors just the same.

So, with that understanding, why should we swoop in and enact “ghost gun” bans across the nation? That likely wouldn’t have stopped these guys since heavy restrictions on suppressors didn’t.

In truth, while the state and the media are presenting this as anti-“ghost gun” arrests, it kind of shows just how pointless a ban on homemade firearms would actually be.