Progressive Autocrat Letitia James issues imperial order demanding companies ‘cease and desist’ selling perfectly legal 80 percent lower firearm receivers

September 23, 2019 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – The progressive autocrats ruling New York State just can’t stand the thought of private enterprises innovating around their unconstitutional civilian disarmament schemes. A timely example is today’s cease and desist order issued by Cuomo lapdog Letitia James to “operators of 16 websites that manufacture and/or sell firearms or firearms components” often referred to as ‘unfinished lower receivers’ or ‘80 percent lowers’.

80 percent lowers are, as the name implies, lower firearm receivers that are 80 percent finished. This means they aren’t considered functional firearms by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Thus, 80 percent lowers don’t require a background check or registration to purchase. Anyone can ship one to their door, remove several pieces of polymer or metal (as the case may be), install lower and upper parts kits, and have a fully functional GLOCK Gen 3 or AR-15 in several hours. Registration and a pistol permit are not required to purchase the requisite parts.

Taking her cues from modern-day tyrants like Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Attorney General James declares to recipients of her authoritarian edict “I hereby demand that you stop the sale and advertisement to residents of New York of unfinished lower receivers and firearms components that are intended for the assembly of assault weapons.”

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James goes on to blatantly lie to the private businesses she’s threatening with unwarranted government force, claiming 80 percent lower firearm receivers are illegal (no law exists banning them), the sale of 80 percent lowers ‘gravely endangers the public welfare’ (zero data exists to support this claim), and 80 percent lower sales “contravene New York’s consumer protection statutes” (80 percent lower advertising is not fraudulent or deceptive), among numerous additional falsehoods. The attorney general closes her literary temper tantrum with a threat to confiscate the customer records of the companies she seeks to intimidate, presumably so she can hunt down and charge with unjustified violent felonies any New Yorker with the gall to lawfully purchase an 80 percent lower.

“I’ve been speaking with contacts at 80 percent lower distributors, and can confirm that Ms. James’ unhinged, authoritarian rant is the subject of gut-busting laughs at 80 percent lower companies all across the country today,” 2AWNY.COM Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felano said. “The attorney general’s entire order reads like it was cobbled together by a three-year-old with half a box of crayons. It has zero basis in fact or logic, and simply represents Ms. James’ ardent wish that those pesky 80 percent lowers were already outlawed, even though no state or federal laws exist making that wish a reality. Therefore, the attorney general is unlawfully stretching the bounds of several statutes in order to achieve the outcome of a ban via prosecutorial intimidation of private businesses, absent any action by the legislature. Ms. James’ entire argument relies on the faulty pre-crime logic that, because a New York State resident has the ability to choose to purchase an 80 percent lower and convert it into a functional receiver that could be used to construct a firearm unconstitutionally outlawed in New York State, all 80 percent lowers are now magically reclassified as ‘assault weapons’ themselves, and therefore suddenly illegal. In this way, the attorney general agrees with President Donald Trump, who leveraged the same faulty logic to ban bump stocks by simply reclassifying them as something they clearly are not. Ms. James’ cease and desist order issued today to 80 percent lower distributors represents yet another abuse of power by New York State autocrats, and an intellectually feeble and comical one at that.”

Agents of the state, like Letitia James, so intent on banning 80 percent lowers completely dismiss the considerable boon these polymer and metal wonders deliver to New Yorkers’ continuously and unlawfully oppressed Second Amendment civil rights. Despite what Albany has to say about it, the reality is 80 percent lowers provide a constitutionally legal way to circumvent the state’s clearly unconstitutional SAFE Act and pistol permitting regime, both of which 2AWNY.COM intends to substantially weaken or completely reverse once a strict scrutiny ruling is delivered via the much anticipated NYSRPA v. NYC U.S. Supreme Court case.

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In this new era of ‘Hell yes we are going to take your [insert type of gun we don’t like here],’ recently heralded by Beto O’Rourke in a manner likely to sink progressives’ hopes of passing their national gun control agenda, Albany autocrats also ignore the bulwark 80 percent lowers provide against gun confiscation, which New York State will get around to eventually. If the state is unaware of the existence or location of your unregistered 80 percent lower receiver, how are they going to confiscate it? The answer is, they can’t. Much to progressives’ dismay, the U.S. Constitution and the concept of natural rights that justified America’s declaration of independence from England make this type of non-compliance with Albany’s onerous gun control designs perfectly legal, and designate as criminals all government agents who retaliate against those engaging in said non-compliance.

The true comedy of Albany’s desire to ban 80 percent lowers lies in the fact that their draconian gun regulations are precisely the source of citizens’ explosive demand for them. This demonstrates that New York State ‘legislators’ are completely inept at considering the unintended consequences of the multitude of authoritarian edicts they pass each year. In the process of instituting ever more restrictive gun control, they’ve unwittingly created a substantial market demand for 80 percent lowers. This demand has been satisfied by entrepreneurs based in states far freer than New York, who are vastly more insightful than any Albany ‘lawmaker.’

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To learn more about any of the above, please contact Steve Felano at (518) 852-1863 or [email protected].

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2AWNY is a force multiplier for the numerous Second Amendment civil rights advocacy enterprises forming the backbone of Western New York’s vibrant gun culture. We act as a 2A news and information distribution, policy analysis, and organizational driver for the many interest groups seeking to defend and expand Second Amendment civil rights throughout the region. 2AWNY is dedicated to assisting in the organization, promotion, and funding of legal challenges to the unconstitutional New York State gun control regime. We seek to make Western New York the epicenter of New York State’s Second Amendment civil rights renaissance. Learn more at WWW.2AWNY.COM.