Attorney General James Takes Action to Stop Gun Distributors from Illegally Shipping Ghost Gun Parts into New York
NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against ten national gun distributors, demanding that they immediately stop selling and shipping illegal unfinished and/or unserialized frames and receivers, or “ghost gun” parts, to New York consumers. Attorney General James is asking a federal court to order these businesses to immediately stop selling, shipping, distributing, or supplying unfinished frames or receivers to any person or entity with a New York address. Today’s action builds on the lawsuit that Attorney General James filed against these companies in June 2022 and is part of the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) ongoing efforts to stop the flow of illegal and dangerous ghost guns into New York.
“Companies that sell ghost gun parts and kits present a clear danger to all New Yorkers,” said Attorney General James. “These deadly weapons are unregistered, untraceable, and do not require any background check to purchase, which means they can easily end up in dangerous hands. Once again, we are taking action to stop the flow of ghost guns into New York and to protect our communities from gun violence.”
Attorney General James is seeking a preliminary injunction against ten national gun distributors that were named in her lawsuit filed in June 2022 that unlawfully sold tens of thousands of unfinished frames and receivers to New Yorkers violating several laws, including New York’s licensing laws, by selling weapons to felons and others without a background check. Between May and June of 2022, six of the ten Defendants — Arm or Ally, LLC, Brownells Inc., Salvo Technologies, Inc. (a/k/a 80 P Builder or 80P Freedom Co.), Indie Guns, LLC, Rainier Arms, LLC, and Rock Slide USA, LLC — were caught shipping one or more unfinished frames or receivers to undercover investigators in New York, and several defendants advertised ghost gun components for sale and shipped their products to individuals who went on to commit crimes involving ghost guns in New York State.
This case is pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and Attorney General James asserts that these businesses sell these unfinished firearms with the understanding that their customers will convert them into working weapons and have even offered instructions on how to do so. They routinely sell their products inside a “jig,” a plastic structure that guides the user’s tools through the simple steps required to finish the frame. By Defendant 80 Percent Arms’ own admission, 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 work around 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.
This litigation is led by Special Counsel James Thompson, Special Counsel Monica Hanna, Assistant Attorneys General Abigail Katowitz and Matthew Conrad, with support from Data Scientist Kenneth Morales, Director of Research and Analytics Jonathan Werberg, 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.