Jun 29, 2022 - Politics & Policy

New York officials file lawsuits against "ghost gun" makers

New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams

New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against makers and distributors of "ghost guns" on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York officials on Wednesday filed lawsuits against 10 companies that make and distribute untraceable firearms, also known as ghost guns.

Driving the news: New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a press conference that gun distributors sold "thousands of unfinished gun components" into New York City and New York State, which were then converted into illegal — and untraceable — guns.

Details: Two lawsuits, filed separately by the office of James, and by New York City, accuse the companies of "illegally selling tens of thousands of gun frames and receivers over the last five years."

  • The lawsuits come six days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a New York law requiring gun owners to show a special permit to carry guns in public.
  • The ruling is set to have major implications for gun control laws across the country as the U.S. struggles with an epidemic of gun violence.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Wednesday in a separate press conference that her office was laying out an extensive agenda to limit gun permits.

  • Hochul said lawmakers have agreed on the broad strokes of a gun control bill that the Democratic-led Legislature is poised to pass Thursday, per AP.
  • The bill will set limits on places where a gun can be carried and will establish additional requirements to determine who can carry a gun in public.
  • Hochul said that guns will be restricted in public transit, medical facilities, places where children gather, educational institutions, and polling places.

What they're saying: “While families mourned loved ones lost to senseless gun violence, gun sellers avoided accountability for the illegal and dangerous weapons they sold,” New York Attorney General Letitia James in a press release.

  • "Ghost guns are illegal in our city, and we will take every lawful action possible to stop gun retailers from profiting at the expense of the safety of our city," Mayor Adams said, in a prepared statement.

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