Kevin de Leon ghost gun
Firearms expert and former California state senator Kevin De Leon holds up what he famously described as a 'ghost gun.' AP Photo.
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What would the residents of New York State do if they didn’t have Attorney General Letitia James to protect them from metal and plastic parts? Not to mention her work investigating Wayne LaPierre and the NRA, of course.

Her latest anti-gun stunt: she has demanded — for the media’s benefit at least — that a number of “ghost gun” sellers stop selling and shipping metal parts to New York State addresses.

From the NY Attorney General website:

AG James Pumps Brakes On Online “Ghost Gun” Sellers, Orders Cease And Desist Of Sales Into New York

Companies Purport to Sell Partially Milled Firearms Components
Despite State Assault Weapons Ban

So, she wants to ban machined parts? What’s next, oil filters? Fender washers?

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that she has directed the operators of 16 websites that manufacture and/or sell firearms or firearms components to  “cease and desist” selling nearly complete assault weapons into New York State. The possession, manufacture, and sale of assault weapons is illegal in New York, but these companies have been providing the means to violate the state’s assault weapons ban, and often specifically advertise their products as a way to evade law enforcement with phrases like, “If they don’t know you have it, they can’t take it.”

Well, that’s exactly right.  If they don’t know you have it, they don’t know to knock on your door to take it.

“There is only one purpose for the products that these companies are selling — to manufacture illegal and deadly assault weapons,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “The proliferation of these types of weapons has not only caused indescribable suffering across the country, but gravely endanger every New Yorker. We must make sure that these illegal and untraceable guns are not built in New York.”

Only one purpose? No. And end user could finish it into a New York-legal rifle. Once again, it seems AG James missed the class on Constitutional law. Maybe she was out protesting global warming or welcoming illegal aliens to New York.

Either way, the Constitution says something about “shall not be infringed.” We shall see how the New York SAFE Act fares after the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association SCOTUS decision comes down next year. But in the meantime, she includes this handy tutorial on what makes a gun a gun . . .

Image via NY State Attorney General website.

Figure 1 – The lower receiver as part of a rifle.

The companies are all offering for sale partially milled, or machined, lower receivers and shipping them to New York State residents for assembly into illegal assault weapons.

Again, not necessarily illegal home defense or police patrol-type rifles.

Composed of either metal or plastic, the lower receiver holds the upper, lower, and rear portions of the firearm together and is responsible for the actual “firing” of the bullet. Aside from a fully assembled firearm, the lower receiver is the only piece that is independently considered a firearm and is thus subject to federal regulation. However, an incomplete lower receiver — lacking certain holes, slots, or cavities — is not considered a firearm. These companies have been marketing their lower receivers as “80%” complete, in order to evade federal regulations.

Freedom is not a loophole.

Purchasers on these websites must only make a few small changes with a common drill press to transform an unfinished receiver into a fully operational one. Once milled, the receiver may be readily assembled into an illegal assault weapon, typically unregistered and not branded with a serial number.

Our Founding Fathers must surely be repenting in Heaven for the pains they endured to secure independence for our nation.

Figure 2 – An illustrative example of an Unfinished and Finished Lower Receiver and the Differences Between Them

Image via NY State Attorney General website.

These companies call their products “ghost guns” because they are virtually untraceable.

We didn’t name them. Gun grabbers named them.

They do not require that the buyer hold a federal firearms license or submit to a background check. Many of these sellers also offer for sale specialized jigs — or stencil-like precision tools that help guide a drill press — that are specifically designed to aid the milling process for a lower receiver.

Figure 3 – Lower receivers for sale on one of the websites sent a cease and desist letter.

Image via NY State Attorney General website.

Oh the humanity!

In her cease and desist letter, Attorney General James argues that these sellers are unlawfully promoting the possession of illegal weapons and do not adequately warn consumers that manufacturing or assembling an assault weapon in New York State is illegal, which could subject them to disgorgement, restitution, and penalties of up to $5,000 for each violation.

Figure 4 – One of the websites sent a cease and desist letter describes how their products can help evade law enforcement, stating “If they don’t know you have it, they can’t take it.”

Image via NY State Attorney General website.

In the past, the Office of the Attorney General has actively fought the proliferation of ghost guns on New York’s streets. In September 2015, the office announced a thirty-two count indictment in “Operation Ghostbuster,” which marked the first time a state law enforcement agency indicted, and subsequently prosecuted, individuals on charges of assembling and selling ghost guns.

There’s only one problem with all of this. Neither selling the parts or using them to build rifles is illegal in the state of New York. By sending the cease and desist letters, James is trying to intimidate sellers of unfinished lowers into halting sales to New Yorkers with no basis in law behind her. Again, these legal parts can be used to assemble rifles that comply fully with current New York state law.

Thankfully, AG James’ office will probably have plenty of gun-related litigation to deal with once the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association decision comes down. Plenty that won’t involve harassing people engaged in the lawful commerce of metal and plastic parts.

Because the last I heard, gang-bangers don’t have build parties.


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  1. Good luck with that commies, New York state has no authority to criminalize legal business practices in other states.

    • California is trying (a bill has been passed I believe but hasn’t been signed), but at least there will be a law that applies to the parts, unlike NY which has no law banning sale of such items. The California law will still allow you to buy them, BUT they will have to be sold similarly to how the ammo law works, by buying through a “precursor parts licensee.”

      • Assembly Bill (AB) 879 The Precursor Parts Bill

        It passed the CA Senate three weeks ago on Sept 4, and passed the House the following week on Sept 9. It’s now formally enrolled and being prepared for submission to Newsom’s desk for signature into law.

        From the opening text of the bill:

        “Commencing July 1, 2024, the bill would require a person or business to have a valid firearm precursor part vendor license to sell more than one firearm precursor part in any 30-day period”


        “By creating new crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

        As with nearly all gun-control bills in CA, this also admits that the State is creating new “crimes” by declaring actions that are now legal, to soon be illegal. Part of the text states that a prohibited person (that could be any number of people who were not convicted by a jury of any violent crime) will be breaking the new law by simple possession of a precursor part, which includes any necessary part such as an unfinished receiver (the bill doesn’t clarify the %), trigger, barrel, stock, handle, etc. Any part or item that connects to the receiver.

        So by the language of the bill, there is no definition of what an “unfinished receiver” is. If I take an 80%-er and mill it out, it’s still unfinished until I drill out that final pin hole. So a 99% receiver is still unfinished and unusable for firing a gun. But what about 60% receivers that require more steps and much more know-how and tooling? What about a block of 7075 aluminum that’s marketed as a “0% receiver blank” (I’ve seen them online)? Does this count?

        I think this bill will be passed by Screwsom and the Keystone Kops, but will fail in court due to (1) vagueness and (2) unconstitutional grounds, just like the ammo law is being challenged.

        Even so, get any parts you need now, just in case this gets mired in the courts for a few years.

        TTAG, what’s with the random captchas now? My comment contains no links. I’ve already posted several comments today, so why all of sudden? This is happening more and more.

    • Realistically they are trying to slow the flood of 80’s into the state while they figure out a way to ban them before the Supreme Court can potentially make it harder.

    • No but many, many companies choose to voluntarily stop shipping to states like NY rather than deal with it. The same thing happened with online ammo sales. NY never created the ammo database that would have triggered its law against online ammo being sold there, nor was that law likely enforceable on out-of-state vendors, but almost all the big ammo sales just put NY state on their list of “we don’t sell here” like DC.

      • And the ones that do, get all the business. A few of my formerly favorite on line merchants (e.g., Cabellas, Aim Surplus) are now on my banned-for-life list.

    • Has anyone else noticed that the gun De Leon is holding in the pic doesn’t have any accessories, not even MBUS? It looks like he pulled it right out of a Palmetto shipper box and walked out onto the stage with it as “evidence”.

  2. Dear Attorney General Letitia James,

    With all due respect, go screw yourself.

    I have seen people turn coal shoves into AK-47s or piece of bar stock into a 1911 pistol, or melted aluminum cans into a AR-15. You can’t stop it, and thinking you can only proves your arrogance, stupidity and incompetency.

    Gun Owners of Texas.

    • Then ban Mexicans from coming to America. Where is the Trump wall?

      I thought all these alt right people were crazy, until I started looking around. WTF happened to my country? Where did all the white people go in El Paso?

      • Okay. I did a little research myself. This guy doesn’t know anything about firearms. He just spews the party line. Way left of center. He wouldn’t know a rifle, of any kind, if it bit him on the ass.

  3. We can only have the 2A in a majority white country.

    If you want guns, you have to start working towards restricting non-white immigration, subsidizing white birth rates, and censoring the absolute garbage on Netflix.

      • Why is saying that you like the racial makeup of the country as it is… is racist?

        Why can’t America just stay as it is? Why does it need to change? I just thought gun blogs were safe spaciest for white people.

    • It’s one thing to be a country of immigrants that become a “melting pot” and all assimilate into on nation, but it’s entirely the opposite when those immigrants create pockets of separatism and never assimilate.

      Pushing “diversity” is the ruination of any nation. Diversity allows foreign and destructive ideologies to proliferate and eventually degrade the established ideology. This is why the US will NEVER be the great nation it was. This nation will fall as explained in biblical prophesy. We have allowed the evils from around the world to invade and undermine our Christian faith and founding of this nation, over greed and foolishness.

  4. Ethan Allen and the boys had to fight the Yorkers at the same time they fought the crown,as they were in reality one and the same and 243 years latter nothing has changed as NY is still thinks it’s the crown.

    Build,Build and Build !

  5. Neither selling [80% lower receivers] or using [80% lower receivers] to build rifles is illegal in the state of New York. By sending the cease and desist letters, [New York Attorney General Letitia] James is trying to intimidate sellers of unfinished lowers into halting sales to New Yorkers with no basis in law behind her.

    That sounds like deprivation of rights under color of law — a felony — which the United States Justice Department is obligated to prosecute.

    Oh, who am I kidding. The United States Justice Department has ZERO interest in prosecuting the ruling class for deprivation of rights under color of law.

    • We did get slapped down for trying to get other states to enforce our batshit crazy laws on NY residents in neighboring state’s so this is pretty much par for course. Come to think of it I remember seeing NY State Police at a PA gunshow a few years ago.

  6. This is the best ad for 80% I have ever seen. Way to make more people aware of their right to build their own. Fantastic job NY.

  7. It was only a matter of time until the Luddites figured this one out. Buy what you can, while you can. Make it later.

    • Double yup.

      I have extra receivers and parts in the safe. For the future. All legal for now, but if things ever go sideways…

      • A safe can be searched! Be smart and set up a cache in an undisclosed location. I have several 55 gallon plastic drums buried with weapons, ammo, med supplies, and food! No amount of searching will produce results.

        • Yes, that’s always a good idea. In fact, my safe isn’t even located at my home residence, and all my important things (documents, cash, guns, ammo, etc.) are divided into two or three portions and stored at different addresses. You learn to do this after living through natural disasters such as heavy rains and mudslides that close off roads for days at a time, major earthquakes, wildfires, etc. that may cut off access to your main residence.

  8. First a state’s AG has no authority to out law an item. If she wants to “legally” keep 80% receivers out of her state. The NY State legislature either needs to pass a law specifically outlawing them or defining them as actual “receivers”.

    Second if New Yorkers want to avoid any possibility of a problem they can always rent a PO box n a neighboring state and have the “receivers” shipped there or have them sent to a close friend or relative in a free state .

    • Please see what the Massachusetts AG had to say about ARs and their prohibition. Outlawed on her whim and liberal judges backing her up.

      • Only happens when the people in that state haven’t the balls to fight. If you refuse to fight for your rights then you don’t deserve to have them!

  9. Compliance with the law is not evasion. If the law says “3 hour parking maximum” and I park there for 2 hours 45 minutes, I am not exploiting a loophole to evade a fine, I am simply obeying the law.

  10. “Firearms expert and former California state senator Kevin De Leon holds up what he famously described as a ‘ghost gun.’ AP Photo”

    If he’s a firearms expert I’m a rocket scientists.

  11. That pic of Kevin De Leon as a “firearms expert” may have been meant to be facetious. If not, it certainly should have. Kevin doesn’t know jack about firearms or much of anything else.

  12. Since when did DeLeon, formerly of the California State Legislature, did he quit or was he defeated in a bid for re-election, become a “firearms expert”, or might “eggspurt” have been the intended characterization. Seriously though, was his expertese self declared or was he so anointed, and by whom.

  13. as a gunsmith i have had people bringing me these 80% and kit gun projects for years to just drill a couple of holes for me or just mill out the magwell.
    what all of you patriots fail to understand is that once the holes are drilled and other parts milled the receiver then becomes an illegal firearm and the person doing the machining can get a stiff prison sentence if they do not have a manufacturers license. anyone caught with one of these without a serial # is also looking at a long stay at the federal bed and breakfast.
    i know what im talking about. i had to fight tooth and nail to stay out of jail with a very large fine just for rebluing and plating firearms with a regular ffl. the atf claimed i needed a manufacturers license.finally caught a break when higher ups at atf reversed the lower level agents with a clarification.
    do what you please but in my opinion no firearm is worth doing a 20 year stretch for.
    if you dont like a law try and change it. by ignoring said laws you are not a patriot , just a criminal that just threw away their right to ever vote or own a firearm again.
    remember all of these people telling you the laws are not valid and to not obey them are not the one that is going to go to prison. i would be willing to bet you those guys dont have any un serial numbered guns in their safe.
    be safe and fight the fight under the laws you claim to cherish! there is a big difference between an armed mob of criminals and a regulated militia.

    • Wrong. You only NEED as serial number if you pass it on to someone else. Read

      Firearms may be lawfully made by persons who do not hold a manufacturer’s license under theGCA provided they are not for sale or distribution and the maker is not prohibited from receivingor possessing firearms. However, a person is prohibited from assembling a non-sporting semiautomatic rifle or shotgun from 10 or more imported parts, as set forth in regulations in 27
      CFR 478.39. In addition, the making of an NFA firearm requires a tax payment and advance approval by ATF. An application to make a machinegun will not be approved unless documentation is submitted showing that the firearm is being made for the official use of a Federal, State or local government agency (18 U.S.C. § 922(o),(r); 26 U.S.C. § 5822; 27 CFR §§
      478.39, 479.62, and 479.105).
      Additionally, although markings are not required on firearms manufactured for personal use (excluding NFA firearms), owners are recommended to conspicuously place or engrave a serial
      number and/ or other marks of identification to aid in investigation or recovery by State or local law enforcement officials in the event of a theft or loss of the privately owned firearm.

      • True, however, if you take it to someone else for them to complete (like the poster seems to indicate was happening to him) it’s a whole other story.

        • What was said and what is fact are not the same. This guy is supposedly a “gunsmith”, but what is obvious is that he hasn’t a CLUE what the law says, that’s why he had problems. And secondly, “Crazygunsmith” is a moron. Refusing to go along with illegal and unconstitutional laws is not only a right but it is the duty of patriots in their fight to stop this tyranny. He obviously proves that there are people who accept the intimidation of the leftist authoritarians for fear of retaliation in the form of jail or fines. BUT none of these laws are ever overturned without someone violating them and then fighting back.

          • you claim i didnt understand the law, the example i gave of the atf hassleing me over standard practise of rebluing guns, which has been done for 100 years because of how several agents read the law wasnt because of anything i failed to do or understand. it wasnt only me they were doing this to.
            i gave this example to try to keep people from getting into trouble by listening to people with no practical knowledge of the gun laws. free speech allows these people to produce videos and articles of how to complete an 80% gun. if they do in fact choose to do so that is fine. i was just stating if you buy these 80% and assorted kit guns and take them to someone else to complete there is a strong possibility the person completing the job and the ultimate owner of the gun could well be in violation of the law. the penalties of these laws are no joke. when you are looking at $100,000 in fines and legal fees, several decades in prison, and losing a business you spent a lifetime creating you gain a new understanding of what is important in life. i chose not to drill those holes. the $8.00 pr hole i charged for such work was not worth the risk of what could happen at the whim of an atf agent that was having a bad day or a bad understanding of a poorly written law.
            i am pro gun, guns were my lively hood. i am a vietnam veteran. i am just cautioning people to think long and hard before they choose to go this will own a firearm you can never legally sell, or give away. if you get caught with one of these guns,though techniquely legal, you will quite possibly incur some large legal fees proving the gun is legal to a hostile police/court system.
            there are alternative firearms to these in most areas that are legal to own following the prescribed guidelines. are they stupid rules? YES are the rules a hassle, YES, but the weapons are functionally the same. if you are tied to the appearance of the guns to the point of possible legal trouble, you are as silly as the congressman that picks up a mp9 off a table and boldly states we have to get these uzzis off the streets.

    • This is just plain wrong. If you buy one of these (or a Polymer80 GLOCK, for instance) and finish it yourself, there’s no requirement to serialize it (as long as you’re keeping it for yourself). The only place I’m aware of where serialization is required is California. So far.

      It is and always has been legal for Americans to build their own firearms without a permission slip from the government. They can’t, however, build them and then sell them to others.

      • “They can’t, however, build them and then sell them to others.”

        “…build the with the *intent* to sell to others…”


        As for the CA serialization law, I went with a group of men out to the desert for a shoot day, and during the festivities it turned out that half the men there had brought 80%-er guns, and several were sans any serialization. Non-compliance is a thing here.

      • this is what gets tricky for a gunsmith. if i just drill the hole,did i just become the manufacturer if i require payment for my time? as the person that brought it in, they did not complete the gun . i did.
        you can have 20 lawyers read the law and depending on who is paying them or their political beliefs you could get 20 differing opinions.
        when you make your living working on and building firearms, you just cant have the atf constantly snooping around. if you are working in the gray area of the law, they will find a reason to shut you down or worse.
        lastly do any of you believe the atf does not know every address these frames and videos are shipped to?
        big brother is watching. be careful is what im telling you.

        • @Crazy,

          You’re correct. You cannot legally “complete” an 80% receiver for someone else. I assembled by wife’s Glock for her, but I set everything up and coached her through finishing the frame, though. Took photos of her doing it to prove she was the one who did the Dremeling and drilling, but afterward I put in the LPK and upper for her.

    • “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” — Samuel Adams

  14. Senator De Leon “Firearm Expert” is famous for his January 13, 2014 quote describing the capabilities of an AR15. In the hearing, he was standing holding an AR (with a high capacity magazine inserted) in both hands when he said,

    “This right here has the ability with a .30-caliber clip to disperse with 30 bullets within half a second. Thirty magazine clip in half a second.”

  15. How can these Left Wing Liberals not understand the 2nd Amendment? It’s right there, in black and white, that the purpose of this amendment is to protect the PEOPLE from a TYRANNICAL GOVERNMENT. Nowhere is there any mention of any specific firearm, or type of firearm, and clearly states, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”. As is typical of the left wing Demo rats they choose to ignore and twist laws to serve their own agenda.

    • It’s no different than why a jew or muslime cannot understand the Holy Bible, especially the New Testament! It’s the same reason that there are scientists that actually believe in “AGW” (Man-made global warming). There are many people who have non-functioning brains – called democraps!

    • They understand it very well. They understand that they will never be able to “fundamentally change America” while there are tens of millions of gunz and well trained users out there fighting them to preserve freedom. The only solution for them is to disarm the militia as the Brits tried in Concord in 1775. They will lose as did the red coats.

  16. A ‘ghost gun’ is not yet a receiver. But a receiver is not an assault weapon by new york definitions- you can have all the ARs you want as long as you neuter them properly. So this is idiocy squared.

  17. Her diagram of the differences between an 80% lower and a complete lower lists the complete lower as being “registered”.

    Perhaps someone should explain top her that approximately 95% of the “assault weapons” in New Yorkistan were never registered under the SAFE Act.

    • My favorite is the AR-15 lower made out of used brass, melted down and cast. He machines and polishes that thing into a work of beauty!

  18. Will be outlawing any packages of 10 or more flat washers. This will greatly reduce the crime wave from high capacity flat washer assaults. Flat washer free zone signs will soon be everywhere.

  19. What gets to me is the irony and hypocrisy of anti-gun ownership liberals who are so power hungry that they want to send armed law enforcement agents to take guns from law abiding citizens and then they enjoy the extra security provided to them by armed men and women. How do they justify their safety when they want to relieve average citizens of the ability to defend themselves from others who most likely will be armed and also attack them in numbers.
    The weapons that criminals use are irrelevant as they are of a mindset that promotes non-compliance with the law and they lack the moral fiber and human decency most of us have, which leads them to be violent and scoff at the law. Thus they are dangerous and will rob, rape, and kill and be long gone before the police can show up.
    Liberals, the extremist, American hating socialist lowlifes that they have become use half truths, twisted into false narratives and repetitious propaganda to discredit their opposition and rely on social media to spread hatred and lies about those who they can not allow to speak out. They fear the other side and thus try to circumnavigate the Constitution and the law like cowards. They pick and choose what we are allowed to read, hear and view as much as possible. They try to censor opposing views unless it’s by some foreigner or illegal immigrant. And they want to make decisions for everyone even though they have the choice to not own guns, they want to deny that right to those of us who do. That’s not the American way. That’s totalitarian government.
    And taking our guns and trying to legislate our behavior and how we live will not create a safe and prosperous Utopia, but create a country of puppet followers and those who are part of the elite will enjoy special privileges as they abuse their power. The rest of us will be their subjects and this will very likely spark a messy, bloody civil war. And lack of guns will not protect the liberals from the coming war for which their soft nature will be a disadvantage.

  20. With as much respect as might be due the state legislature and the governor, precious little if I may so state, New York can take that often mentioned “running jump”. It also strikes me that the U.S. Supreme Court should have long since so directed. Pitty that they have, to this date, not
    so spoken? Perhaps the upcoming session of The Court will show that badly needed improvement. By the way, I grew up, and lived for a number of years in NYC, Brooklyn to be specific. Departed that vale of tears many years ago, circumstances having become unacceptable to me. Though I would not have thought it likely, things have gotten worse, much worse with the passage of time.

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