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As we reported earlier, a group of anti-civil rights activists styled as the States United to Prevent Gun Violence opened up a “gun store” in New York City recently. The salesperson behind the counter (an actor) showed various kinds of firearms to prospective customers while informing them of notable crimes that had been committed with each particular model. Does it sound like the gun control crowd is getting desperate? Even the generally pro-gun control Huffington Post acknowledged that the story and video were “a change of tactics for the gun control lobby, which has lost a series of high-profile battles in state and local legislatures” . . .

Beyond the rather odd spectacle, however, the question has been raised about what laws might have been violated by the group producing the video. Although not all of the facts are known (the video presented is less than four minutes long and mostly focuses on what the salesperson behind the counter is saying,) there are myriad ways in which they may have been violating local firearms laws and ordinances. Here are just a few examples.

It’s unclear whether or not the owner of the pretend ‘store’ actually had an FFL. The video pretty clearly shows the salesman showing numerous firearms that he is apparently representing as the real deal, including a “9mm submachinegun” to patrons of the store.

Federal law defines a ‘dealer’ as follows:

a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms

Although the law doesn’t specify how much ‘time, attention, and labor’ are necessary to qualify here, I suspect that opening up a storefront (and keeping up a website) might be enough. Certainly the sort of thing that a prosecutor intent on enforcing gun laws regardless of motivation might pay attention to.

In addition, New York City is so intent on limiting civilian ownership of guns that under New York City Administrative Code Section 10-131, the city has imposed serious controls on the sale and possession of even replicas of firearms.

g. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sell, possess [sic] or use or attempt to use or give away, any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm unless:

(a) the entire exterior surface of such toy or imitation firearm is colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern; or

(b) such toy or imitation firearm is constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the imitation or toy firearm’s complete contents; and

(c) the barrel of such toy or imitation firearm, other than the barrel of any such toy or imitation firearm that is a water gun, is closed with the same material of which the toy or imitation firearm is made for a distance of not less than one-half inch from the front end of said barrel, and;

(d) such toy or imitation firearm has legibly stamped thereon, the name of the manufacturer or some trade name, mark or brand by which the manufacturer can be readily identified; and

(e) such toy or imitation or firearm does not have attached thereto a laser pointer, as defined in paragraph one of subdivision a of section 10-134.2 of this code.

The New York City Administrative Code states that the above will not apply to toys or imitation firearms used “only for or in the production of television programs or theatrical or motion picture presentations, provided, however, that such use of any toy or imitation firearm complies with all applicable laws, rules or regulations concerning request and receipt of waivers authorizing such use….”

At the very least, it appears that States United To Prevent Gun Violence would have needed to obtain such a waiver if they were using toys or replica firearms in their little exercise in agitprop. If they actually had real firearms available — which is what their companion website, purports — they could be in for some serious time in the federal pen. Someone dealing in machine guns (if that’s really what that was) without a license, for instance, could be subject to a fine of $10,000 and 10 years in a federal prison.

Of course, it’s highly doubtful that these folk will be prosecuted for any possible crimes committed. Given the political stance of the powers that be in the Big Apple, they no doubt fall under the David Gregory “guns laws are only for little people” exemption. Nor is this intended to be an endorsement of any such prosecution.

I am a strong supporter of both the Second Amendment as well as the First; if a group of people want to waste their time and money making fools of themselves and aren’t hurting anyone else, in my judgment, that’s their right. The irony here is that in this case, the fools of which we speak at SUPGV risk running afoul of the very laws they support while trying to exercise their right to freedom of speech.


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece, and is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice on this subject, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel.


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  1. That AR had a Hexmag in it. There are no fake Hexmags, and they can only be limited to 15 rounds. That’s gotta be illegal to possess.

    • I am a little disappointed with TTAG on this one. A cursory Google search show a dozen articles that show that the producers acquired filming permits and use of prop weapons permits from the city. This was all fake from the start, to the point that NYPD was involved with officers backstage to manage the “guns”.

      All your doing is giving free promotion to their propaganda. And now that I spent time on Media Matters and Washington Post sites, I need to go wash…

      • ” And now that I spent time on Media Matters and Washington Post sites, I need to go wash…”

        Media Matters and the Post?

        Yikes, you better make that a pressure washer…

      • If what you said is true, than it’s even worse. Instead of outright ignorance, the anti-2a groups worked hand in hand with police and government officials to break an existing law/statutes in the attempt of promote their agenda.

        • You would think anything LESS from New York City?

          Only elites may pack, no plebs may possess.

          I do think the real place to get into is the pistol range on the West side. I bet that’s where all of the backdoor deals are made. Of course, to TOUCH a handgun in NYC requires a permit, and I think ~7/yr are issued in a city of 8 million+, and of course, you can only touch YOUR handguns in NY State, because every time you buy one, you have to use a coupon provided by the state, and then the SN of the handgun is recorded against your permit.

          So, to justify getting into that pistol range at all, you have to have a permit and you have to own a handgun of your very own. That is the last old boys’ club, my friends.

      • I just checked, and you’re right. But even then, NYC has a ban on magazines over 5 rounds.

        Also, I feel REALLY uncomfortable knowing that the NYPD was “managing the ‘guns.'” Even if they’re fake guns, I’m sure the NYPD would find some way to maim some innocent plebeian bystander with them.

  2. I disagree. They should (but won’t) be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    The “do as I say, not as I do” law enforcement model is utter BS.

  3. I agree with marc_anthony: no prosecution. They’re doing it “for the right reasons” and/or the AG will issue a “David Gregory pass”.

    Disgusting and shameless.

  4. I am sure if they violated some law they will find a DA friend of Bloomberg who will do linguistic back flips to make it okay just like with David Gregory. If it help forward an agenda, the laws be damned. That is what Obama has taught the nation.

    • Well either they’re criminals or they’re liars.

      Is it possible to see if they filed for and received a film permit by using Freedom of Information Act? (FOIA)

    • “If it help forward an agenda, the laws be damned.”

      It’s a lot like Islam.

      Lying is permitted, if not *required*, if it is the interest of Islam.

      Hence, in Progressivism, lying is permitted, if not *required*, if it is the interest of Progressivism.

      • And very different from conservatism, where if it’s in the right interests, it’s not lying even if it contradicts the facts. It’s just counteracting the latter’s liberal bias.

  5. Just a gentle reminder to all the folks involved in this episode. In less than two years there will be a new President, AG and marching orders. The statute of limitations will not be in play yet. There is a good bet the new regime may not forget this. Sleep tight and pleasant dreams….

    • Don’t hold your breath. Did Bush II overturn any of the Clinton and Bush I era stuff? Do you really think that a new administration will go backwards? Hah!

      • “Don’t hold your breath. Did Bush II overturn any of the Clinton and Bush I era stuff?”


        Bush II allowed the Clinton ‘Assault Weapon Ban’ of 1994 to sunset.

        One little signature from Bush II and we would be choking on it today.

        • It was Congress not Bush who let it expire. Bush is a Fudd and even said he would love to have signed a renewal but the Democrats remembered what happened to them so they did not bother bringing it back for a vote. In response Bush II signed off on the barrel ban which is still in effect today because of the tons of cheap parts kits flowing into the country that “OMG were machinegunz!!!” so he wanted to stymie the flow of new “assault weapons” built by small gun companies and handy individuals.

    • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let these anti-civil rights activists (great word choice, JP) have a taste of the tyranny they so favor.

      • Exactly. I doubt any of “us” wanted the unsafe act and I bet they most of “them” did. They have it and they should deal with every bit of negative consequence.

      • If one considers a law unjust, then it is hypocritical to advocate its persecution on anyone.

        Prosecutors are not your friends, even if they go after the enemy.

        • That may be wise at times, but I’m perfectly happy to see anti-gunners get burned by the flames they lit. Perhaps when they are facing incarceration, they will have time to ponder the unjust laws they supported. Ditto for David Gregory and his 30 round mag stunt. After all, everything they do is “for our safety.” Let’s see how much they really believe that.

        • There’s no hypocrisy in desiring equal application of the law, even of those laws you find odious. This is especially true if the unequal application is designed to keep the public at large from understanding how loathsome the law really is.

          The SAFE Act, DC’s gun laws, I-594, these are all fine with people because they don’t have to live with the consequences. And any people on the “right side” of things never has to worry, because those laws aren’t meant for them. If they “technically” violate them, the authorities will look the other way.

        • I would like them to be charged and tried, and then they would have to use pro-2A arguments to keep out of jail and possibly seek help of a higher court. That would be awesome to watch anti types unravel their own laws. Highly unlikely, but awesome.

        • CarlosT, equal application of odious laws is playing right into the government’s game. It simply normalizes the existence of those terrible laws and makes people accept them.

        • How much comfort is it to not be a hypocrite and have these laws forever?

          I think those who propose such laws should be subjected to them first and foremost.

        • Forget it ST. These people are not open up to any debate or discussion, so no, they shouldn’t be exempted from bad or “odious” laws.

          For those not open to virtue, must take heed by their consequences.

        • I disagree, Sexual Tyrannosaurus. Equal application would show exactly how odious the laws are. If some guys making a video end up in prison for years and years due to New York’s gun control laws, do those laws get normalized or do they look insane?

          Unequal application is used to hide the insanity. The laws are only applied against the people on the “wrong side”, so it’s okay. No one right thinking person will ever face the consequences so anything goes.

        • Given the past 150 years, this argument seems silly. The whole purpose of “common sense gun control” laws was to disarm blacks after emancipation, and there were no objections to those laws for something like 100 years, *until they began to be applied to white people as well*. Since then, folks like you and me have begun fighting back. Incredibly stupid laws (I-594 comes to mind) should OF COURSE be prosecuted aggressively, there should already be hundreds of thousands of WA residents charged, come and get me. Enforced on hunters who allow their children to use the family shotgun to go hunting. Enforced on police who trade guns during practice, enforced on EVERYONE.

          I’ve mentioned before, prior to TX getting “shall issue”, I read a reporter’s account of an episode inside the Capitol, where he was hanging with and interviewing a few dozen state legislators, when they got into a “show and tell” mode, sorta like the BBQ concept, and displayed their carry guns, showing off the fancy and the expensive, whatever, and he commented on the fact that every one of them was breaking state law, but everybody knew those laws were not meant to be enforced on white men. Enforcing laws on white men has gotten those “gun control” laws relaxed significantly in the past 20 years, and will get them further relaxed in the future.

        • Does anyone seriously believe anti-gunners will change their minds because a law they support is vigorously enforced?

          Think about it.

    • What rokurota said. If the “good people” and not just us scum of the earth had to pay the price, then these laws would be shown for what they are.

      If David Gregory and other NBC staffers had been prosecuted for that mag, then that ban starts looking a lot less like “common sense”, doesn’t it? But he gets a pass, because he’s not a peon like the rest of us.

      • A quote I have heard attributed to U.S. Grant (not sure if true though and am paraphrasing a bit) is “the best way to get rid of a bad law is rigid enforcement.”

        As others have said, strict adherence and enforcement will result in exposing such asinine edicts for what they are and provide greater motivation for its repeal. Unfortunately, a lot of good people will be burned in the process so I (and others here) would much prefer those that advocated for them to suffer a greater share of the flame (or at least _A_ share).

      • Good point, Carlos. If David Gregory sat in a holding cell, he might realize how ridiculous it is to outlaw a metal box with a spring in it. He can argue he had no violent intent, but then, neither do we. If the anti-civil rights crowd can break the law for political theater, we can enforce the law to make our points.

      • It was my understanding that he declared he was going to do it, was warned it was illegal, and did it anyway. He should have been handcuffed ON THE AIR! And when questioning the perp uncovered who had supplied him with that magazine, that person/people should have been arrested as well. And Gregory’s objections, that he should be above such laws due to his royal position, incredible intelligence and personality, should have been recorded for use as a laugh track for his entire time in prison.

  6. If the violating guns are all owned by LEO(s), exemptions may apply.

    However, nowhere in NY State may someone without a pistol license handle a pistol. If you don’t have a NY State pistol license, you can’t touch a pistol in a gun store, rent one at a range or handle the pistol owned by a licensed member of your household, even in your own home. I doubt all (or any) of the patrons who handled those pistols were licensed. (This is not new to the SAFE Act.)

    • Worse, each pistol you own is recorded by S/N against your permit.

      You can’t touch OTHER people’s pistols, either! Even with a permit!

  7. Are those the real weapons used in these acts? Those firearms all looked well used. On another note, what a bunch of pacifists.

  8. Generally, I agree with you guys that IF these antis broke any gun laws in NYC they would not be punished because the local and state governments hate guns (like David Gregory).

    But, I don’t think they broke any of the laws that you discussed here. The statute you quoted says that a dealer must devote time, energy, etc. to DEALING in firearms. I have not researched how NY courts interpret the word “dealing,” but it probably involves buying and selling for profit. Did this “fake gun store” sell any guns? Given their agenda, I can’t imagine they did sell any guns. In fact, I bet they did not even intend to sell any guns. Thus, I do not think they are “dealers.”

    As for the second statute, yea, if those guns are actually fakes that look real, it seems that mere possession of them is a crime. But if they are real guns, as much as I disagree with what these guys did, I don’t think they broke the law.

  9. I guess you all don’t subscribe to the Democrat email list. If you did you would know that if you have your DNC card and over 1 million in the bank you can do whatever you want. The state and federal laws only apply to non democrats and peasants.

  10. you are making a couple of assumptions here. First of all, how do you know this was actually shot anywhere near NYC? A couple of exterior shots do not make it true. Know anyone who actually saw this place in action?

    Secondly, assuming it wasn’t shot in NYC, it’s fair to further assume that everyone is an actor – even the newly converted anti gun people. C’mon do you really think that many people would reallly believe that a store is selling the actual guns used in homicides?

    This is put out by an organization that deals in half truths and outright lies. I don’t believe it is anything other than a propaganda piece.

    • That’s me. I think the whole damn thing is fake–everyone in it playing a role. What would they do if someone said, “Fine, just sell me the gun!”?. Or just asked to buy some ammo? Or otherwise put them in a position of actually having to sell dome merchandise?

    • That may very well be true. But if it’s not, they’re criminals. If it is, they get exposed as lying about everything. Both conclusions of an investigation work for me.

    • A lot of people believe the streets are filled with machineguns that don’t require background checks and can be found anywhere (assume “assault weapons” are machineguns), that silencers truly make guns and bullets silent like in the movies, that background checks don’t exist, that you can buy guns online and have them sent straight to your house like an Amazon order, RPG’s and fully armed tanks can be purchased over the counter on a whim, that 50 cal rifles like the Barrett can shoot down planes and blow up houses with a single bullet, and a whole lot more myths about how “unregulated” guns are in this country.

      What makes you think they would not believe guns used in homicide are sold in gun stores? I bet they think most guns in gun stores already have!!!!!

    • Its still probable cause for an ATF raid with a SWAT team to check their bound books and make sure their FFL is in order.

  11. I sent TTAG an email not to go this route. The idea that this wasn’t 100% scripted and allowed (prop guns are allowed in NYC guys, or we wouldn’t have a lot of TV shows or films there) is ridiculous. Hell, it may not have even been filmed in NYC since it’s so expensive.

    • I think it’s okay to call the antis on this. If it was shot in NYC and not scripted, then it is possible that crimes were committed. And if it was all pre-scripted, then it’s all BS. So it’s up to them: are they criminals or liars?

  12. Mikey will make sure his minions don’t suffer for their ‘art’, after a quiet word followed by a nod and a wink.

    Remember that not all artists are playing jokes on the public. Some are genuinely mad.

  13. Law? What law? I will just violate it and keep on violating it because I have a phone and a pen!

    I can make executive decrees and fiats! What law? So what if the SCOTUS slapped me down unanimously 9 times so far?

    Leftists and anti-gunners do not care if they break laws. Who is going to prosecute them. They broke the law in pursuit of the greater good! So, any violation of the law is fine!

  14. They better hope a Republican President is not elected. The Statute of Limitations for the federal crimes is likely several years. I mean Obama is out of office in Jan of 2017… A good Republican Administration would file charges on day 1 of a X Republican Administration. These people clearly violated the law and should do time. The fact that they knowingly violated the law knowing that their political agenda would shield them is unconscionable. A good Republican Administration should put them in their place, and make them do real hard time. I just wish I could prosecute the case…

  15. An article that shows the exact hypocrisy the left is willing to commit to in order to push their ideology. The fact that the very city that lives and breathes to restrict our God given right to bear arms is not doing anything, shows what socialist they are, and that they will allow ANYTHING that furthers their socialist agenda. The left/progressive/socialist/democrats are patheitic!

  16. As a professional filmmaker, I would be blown away if any of the supposed video is as appears. Actors aren’t cheap, and paying one to sit behind a counter all day while you wait for someone to wander in and look around, then waiting for enough people to turn into a reasonably useful video, would be EXTREMELY cost prohibitive.
    What they pretend happened to make this video may have been illegal, but I doubt it matters because I’m confident they made it all up.

  17. All in all the production is a bad idea, it preaches to the choir. I’m sure they sit around watching their stunning performance over and over gloating about how right they are. It earns a colossal SO WHAT award.

  18. Much of the speculation can be resolved easily. All TTAG needs to do is submit a “FOIL” (Freedom of Information Law) request (Article 6 Sections 84-90 of the NYS Public Offiers Law) to the city of NY for all permits, licenses, emails, letters and/or correspondence of any kind related to the city giving permission to the organization to film and/or waiving any requirements of regulation, rule or law pertaining thereto for the filming of this video. Under State law, they have 5 days to either produce the documents or deny the request listing the specific reasons for the denial related to exceptions provided for in the law. (There may be a small fee for printing costs)

    • TTAG needs to get on this ASAP. An entire series of articles on this issue is in order. These people need to be held accountable. TTAG needs to shame the prosecutors into pursuing charges.

  19. Seeing how the anti’s can pretty much flout any gun laws we should all become anti’s.

    Openly carrying whatever can be “calling attention to the proliferation of arms” and machineguns and suppressors will be “highlighting the ease with which home shops and hand tools can make a mockery of federal law.”

    If anyone calls you on it just work up some crocodile tears and whimper something about children.

  20. Like a lot of you mentioned I think this was probably filmed on a film lot with all actors. They probably rented a store in NYC to get some stock footage, and filmed the actors on the streets on NYC. No way the people weren’t actors. It’s as real as the “found footage” horror movies.

  21. They should absolutely be prosecuted if laws were broken. If you advocate for harsher restrictions and regulations on any of your rights, you should have to live with the consequences of your advocacy.
    They are 100% in support of the laws they may have broken and if they broke them, jail time, no questions asked.

  22. Pretending to sell guns without an FFL should have been probable cause for the BATFE to go in and investigate with a SWAT team.

  23. Is it bad that this whole propaganda thing makes me want to go out and buy more guns just to spite them and also revel in the fact that I live in the south?


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