Court fines gun maker $7.8M, bans it from selling parts in New York over ghost guns

Gun maker fined for selling ghost guns in New York

Gun maker fined for selling ghost guns in New York

A federal court in New York just fined a gun maker in Florida $7.8 million and banned it from selling in New York forever.

What’s important here is the type of gun that was being sold: a ghost gun.

And News10NBC got in the Rochester Police Department’s gun room to see it.

Officer Brian Flint picked up the gun from an evidence case. It’s in a bag because it’s tied to an alleged crime.

“So that is what we commonly refer to as a ghost gun, a term that’s been coined,” he said.

Home-assembled guns with serial numbers have existed for a long time. But ghost guns are illegal in New York. They are assembled from parts with no serial numbers or makers’ marks.

Berkeley Brean: “And what do we see on this gun?”
Brian Flint, RPD: “Nothing. It has no serial number. I has no manufacturer’s marks.”

This week, a federal court fined Florida gun maker Indie Guns $7.8 million and banned it from selling “unfinished frames and receivers” in New York New York as a result of a lawsuit filed by the state attorney general.

In the original lawsuit against Indie Guns and nine other gun makers across the country, the term “ghost gun” was mentioned 204 times.

The difference between Indie Guns and the nine other defendants is Indie Guns did not respond to the lawsuit.

“Ghost guns are one of the greatest threats facing our communities, and the companies that ignore our laws and put our families in danger must be held accountable,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “These deadly weapons are designed to be untraceable and can easily end up in the hands of people otherwise barred from owning guns. Indie Guns refused to follow New York and federal law and tried to flood our streets with ghost guns — but now they are paying the price for those bad actions. We will continue to do everything in our power to stop the flow of illegal and dangerous ghost guns into our state and protect our communities from gun violence.”

In her press release on March 6, AG James said Indie Guns “specializes in selling and shipping the components used to make ghost guns, and explicitly markets itself as a supplier that will allow its customers to evade federal and state gun laws.”

I contacted Indie Guns and asked if they had a statement. The company has not replied.

Ghost guns fire bullets just like regular guns do. One year ago on Depew Street two men were shot and one of them was killed. And when police recovered evidence here they found two ghost guns. And they were the exact same model as the ghost gun that we looked at inside the RPD gun room Thursday.

Like that one, most ghost guns recovered in Rochester are known as Polymer 80 — that means 80 percent of the gun is made, usually the frame. And it’s easy to find the parts to make it a gun that shoots.

“Put it together at home and you have yourself a complete handgun, firearm,” Officer Flint said.

RPD have been recovering more ghost guns every year since the first one showed up in 2018. That year it was seven. Last year it was 86. This year we’re on pace for more than 90.