Court Decision: Second Amendment Nullified in New York

( – Dexter Taylor, a 52-year-old Brooklyn man and software engineer, was arrested in April of 2022 during a raid by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the New York City Police Department (NYPD). What Taylor didn’t realize was that his newfound love of gunsmithing was considered a crime in the state of New York. On April 16, Taylor was convicted on multiple charges of criminal possession of firearms. He could face up to 18 years in prison.

Acting Justice of the New York Supreme Court Abena Darkeh has caused shockwaves among gun enthusiasts and constitutional scholars by openly disparaging the second amendment in court. During the trial she told Taylor’s attorney, Vinoo Varghese, to not bring the second amendment into her courtroom saying that “It doesn’t exist here.” She continued by saying he could not use the second amendment to argue his case, because “This is New York.”

While laws regarding ownership and use of firearms vary greatly state by state, it is important to note that the second amendment applies to every state in the U.S. Justice Darkeh did not want to hear any arguments regarding owning or building guns that depended on the second amendment. However, it is arguable that she did not have the authority to assert that the defense was not allowed to use them. Varghese was also repeatedly interrupted during his opening statement by Darkeh which created an overtly hostile courtroom environment that may have influenced the jury.

Some have referred to the guns that Taylor was building as ghost guns because they did not have serial numbers. However, Taylor and other gunsmiths refer to them as traditional guns, as they are created using legally purchased parts as part of a traditional American hobby.

Despite his conviction, Taylor is not prepared to give up. He was a member in good standing of a Manhattan gun range, he passed background checks, and until the raid on his home, he had no criminal record of any kind. He is intending to take his case up to the U.S. Supreme Court if he must. His attorney believes they have a good chance at winning a federal case.

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