Anti-2A NY Court Convicts Gunsmith

A man who legally bought and built firearms is railroaded by a New York judge who is clearly opposed to Americans’ Second Amendment rights.


For Dexter Taylor, it was an intriguing hobby. For the deep-blue state of New York, it was a criminal enterprise. And now Taylor is sitting in Rikers Island awaiting sentencing of anywhere from 10 to 18 years in prison.

And what exactly is Taylor guilty of? In short, pursuing his love of building things, specifically firearms.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, Taylor — a black man, a software engineer, and a Brooklyn resident — discovered the world of gunsmithing. According to his lawyer, Vinoo Varghese, “He ended up building, I believe it was eight pistols and five or six rifles, AR-style rifles, and then eight or nine Glock pistols that he built.”

Taylor explained: “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.’”

As far as Taylor knew, his hobby was completely legal, right up until a joint ATF/NYPD SWAT team raided his home and arrested him. He was charged in April 2022 with constructing so-called “ghost guns,” which is the Left’s scaremongering term for homemade firearms.

A 37-count indictment raised against Taylor included multiple criminal firearms possessions that, according to Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, amounted to “a massive arsenal of homemade ghost guns that are as real and dangerous as traditional firearms.” While the 52-year-old Taylor had no criminal record and was not charged with any violent crime — he never even fired any of the firearms he constructed — for anti-Second Amendment New York, Taylor’s firearms were the crime.

Furthermore, Taylor stated prior to his trial: “Not only did I not intend to transfer or sell them or anything else, but the state of New York should know this because of course they seized my driver, my computer, my regular desktop, my work laptop, they seized my phone, they seized my credit cards, everything. So they know that I wasn’t out there talking about guns. I wasn’t out there advertising guns. I wasn’t out there talking about them on social media, and I certainly wasn’t talking or thinking about transferring weapons.”

However, a jury found him guilty. But it hardly sounds like Taylor got a fair shake, as Judge Abena Darkeh explicitly told his lawyer he was not allowed to even mention Second Amendment rights in Taylor’s defense. Varghese explained: “She told us, ‘Do not bring the Second Amendment into this courtroom. It doesn’t exist here. So you can’t argue [the] Second Amendment. This is New York.’”

On top of that, Judge Darkeh forbade Varghese from arguing before the jury that there was no crime. As Varghese tells it: “I actually argued that jury nullification is allowed because there is some law from the high court of New York that talks about lawyers who made jury nullification arguments. And basically, they said that judges shouldn’t encourage it, but they can’t prevent it. I actually made a pitch directly to Judge Darkeh to allow me to argue during nullification. She, of course, rejected that.” He added, “She basically said, ‘You must vote guilty’ without saying ‘you must vote guilty.’”

Apparently, Judge Darkeh is opposed to the Second Amendment and wants to use Taylor as an example to others who might also enjoy gunsmithing. This is the epitome of viewing the Second Amendment as a secondary right at best or a license to convict at worst.

Despite the verdict, both Taylor and Varghese promised this fight is far from over. They plan to appeal the conviction and, as Varghese believes, “We have a shot at winning in federal court.” Indeed.

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