Brooklyn man sentenced to 10 years in prison for assembling his own firearms with legal parts
05/16/2024 // Cassie B. // Views

A Brooklyn father has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars after being convicted on firearms-related charges for assembling his own firearms using legal parts.

According to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, 53-year-old Dexter Taylor ordered "ghost gun" kits and parts from a variety of retailers online and had them shipped to his Bushwick home. Taylor, who did not have a gun license, spent around $40,000 obtaining the ghost gun parts and tools, which he then used to create his own firearms.

Officers found five handguns, four rifles, four AR-15 style assault weapons and multiple rounds of ammunition when they searched the data engineer’s apartment in an April 2022 raid. They also found a 3D printer, shell casings and gunpowder.

A jury found him guilty of five counts of criminal possession of a firearm, violating a prohibition on unfinished frames or receivers, unlawful possession of pistol ammunition, three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Gonzalez praised the jury’s decision, saying: "Today’s sentence should send a message to anyone who, like this defendant, would try to evade critically important background checks and registration requirements to manufacture and stockpile these dangerous weapons. Every ghost gun we take off the street is a win for public safety."

Many people are outraged by Taylor’s sentence and believe it is politically motivated. FeniXAmmunition wrote on X: “Ten years in prison for something legally permissible in nearly every state, and something we've been doing in this country since before it was founded. Dexter Taylor is a political prisoner, nothing more. This has nothing to do with public safety, it's about intimidating gun owners and destroying firearms culture in America piece by piece.”

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When he was arrested in 2022, Taylor told reporters that he had been stockpiling an arsenal because the city had a “lot of problems with firearms.”

He said: “I am not part of the problem. People like me are not part of the problem.”

He explained that he started assembling firearms to pass the time during pandemic lockdowns and was fascinated by the way firearms work.

In an interview with RedState, he said: “I found out that you can actually legally buy a receiver and you can machine that receiver to completion, and you buy your parts and you put them together and you’ve got a pistol or a rifle. And once I saw that I was hooked. I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever. This is the most cool thing you could possibly do in your machine shop.’”

His attorney, Vinoo Varghese, felt his client’s sentence was excessive, noting that while the DA asked for ten years, the judge could have given him just 3.5 years.

Judge told Taylor “Second Amendment doesn’t exist in this courtroom”

Varghese said that the judge on the case, Abena Darkeh, banned his defense from bringing up the Second Amendment during his trial.

“She told us, ‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue Second Amendment. This is New York,’” he said.

He added that the prosecution tried to portray Taylor as a dangerous person and would not allow his family to support him in the courtroom. A neighbor who was aware of his hobby was not allowed to testify on his behalf.

A legal fund has been set up on GiveSendGo to support his defense and appeal efforts. It has raised more than $184,000 so far and is already almost halfway to its goal.

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