BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — New York State Attorney General Letitia James is taking action against a gun accessory manufacturer that her office connected to the perpetrator of the Buffalo mass shooting.
The announcement comes days before the anniversary of the horrific incident where 10 Black people were killed and three others were injured in a racially motivated attack at the Tops on Jefferson Avenue.
A lawsuit has been filed against Mean Arms, which James’ office says aided in the illegal possession of assault weapons in New York, including that which was used by the mass shooter in Buffalo.
“New York law bans the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition,” James’ office says. “Mean Arms manufactures, sells, and distributes a magazine lock, known as the MA Lock, that is marketed as a device to lock a magazine onto a semiautomatic rifle. However, the lock can easily be removed so that detachable magazines, including high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, can be inserted into a rifle.”
According to the Attorney General’s office, shooter Payton Gendron used an AR-15 rifle that had an MA Lock installed.
“According to his [diatribe], he was able to easily remove the MA Lock from the AR-15 within a few minutes at home, transforming his gun into a weapon with 30 rounds of ammunition that he used to murder 10 people and injure others,” James’ office said.
In the lawsuit, the Attorney General accuses Mean Arms of deceptively and falsely advertising that installing an MA Lock on an assault weapon makes the weapon legal. James seeks to stop Mean Arms, which is based in Georgia, from doing business in New York. In addition to that, her office is seeking restitution and damages, as well as corrective statements from the company.
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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.