State Attorney General Letitia James wants to stop gun distributors from shipping...

State Attorney General Letitia James wants to stop gun distributors from shipping so-called ghost gun parts to New York. Credit: AP/Richard Drew

In a continued effort to stop gun distributors from shipping so-called ghost gun parts to New York State, Attorney General Letitia James announced Thursday the filing of a "Memorandum of Law" and other affidavits seeking an injunction against six of 10 distributors cited in a lawsuit filed by her office last month in state Supreme Court.

James said the six companies not only sell "dangerous products" with the intent of having customers convert them into working firearms, but they'd even taken steps to assist those customers in the conversion process.

The latest filing targeted: Brownells Inc., of Montezuma, Iowa; Rock Slide USA LLC, of Broadway, North Carolina; Arm or Ally LLC, of Indian Trail, North Carolina; Rainier Arms LLC, of Auburn, Washington; Salvo Technologies Inc., of Largo, Florida; and Indie Guns LLC, of Orlando, Florida.

In a statement Thursday, James said the six distributors were caught "red-handed" when they sold and shipped nine unfinished frames to undercover investigators in New York.

Four of the six companies either did not respond to a request for comment or could not immediately be reached for comment.

But in an email, Pete Brownell, chairman of Brownells, which opened in 1939, said: "As one of the nation’s oldest, family-owned firearms retailers, Brownells has always taken its compliance obligations very seriously and we look forward to addressing these claims through the legal system.”

The owner of Indie Guns, Lawrence Destefano, said in an email: "These lawsuits come days after SCOTUS decided law-abiding New Yorkers have the right to carry a gun for self-defense outside the home. This is an obvious knee-jerk reaction by the state, governed by the worst and least-qualified citizens of New York. … We are not going to roll over and let them take away our rights. The gloves are off and we are ready for a no-holds barred, knock-down, drag-out fight."

In a June 29 filing, James cited "a public health and safety crisis" caused by gun violence in New York, attributable to "an influx of homemade, unserialized guns, commonly known as 'ghost guns.' "

Arguing these weapons are "just as lethal as any other handgun or rifle," that filing alleged the 10 defendant companies make sales "based on the pretense that they are not selling actual firearms," but rather that they are selling "unfinished" frames or receivers. The filing argues that federal law defines a frame or receiver as a firearm — and that, as such, they are subject to "the same licensing and public safety requirements as a completed weapon." The filing argues that the products are being marketed as incomplete, even though "the differences between an 'unfinished' frame and a firearm are trivial."

The differences amount to "a tiny amount of plastic" that can be shaved down at the top of the frame — and three tiny holes that are then drilled in the side of those frames — the lawsuit argues.

The products are marketed and sold without serial numbers required to be engraved on all firearms sold in the United States, the suit alleges, meaning that ghost guns made from these parts are "untraceable."

The companies named in the initial filing were ordered to answer it within 30 days of service. The second filing, filed Wednesday, seeks an immediate injunction against the six companies named.

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