Manhattan D.A. Bragg reveals indictment, arrest of man in possession of 3D-printed firearms and parts

June 25, 2023

New York is a decidedly unfriendly place in terms of the Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms, as evidenced by a recent announcement from progressive Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The prosecutor revealed that he had arrested and indicted a man over the possession of multiple so-called "ghost guns," 3D-printed firearm parts, and "high-capacity" ammunition magazines, as well as allegedly making threats against an ex-girlfriend, per a Friday press release.

Indicted and arrested

According to court documents, a Washington Heights man named Eleazer Edelstein, 21, is alleged to have sent a series of text messages to an ex-girlfriend in late May that included threats to kill her as well as to have made a Facetime call to her in which he displayed a firearm.

That led to a search warrant executed on Edelstein's apartment on June 2, during which he was arrested after he was found to be in possession of "operable ghost guns, ghost gun parts, and high-capacity magazines" that he manufactured himself at home using two 3D printers.

Per court documents, he possessed three 3D-printed handguns, two 3D-printed lower receivers, one AR-15-style upper receiver, an operable "assault weapon"-style rifle, plus four "high-capacity" magazines and around 200 rounds of ammunition.

Along with the two 3D printers and "multiple spools of filament," Edelstein is also alleged to have been in possession of multiple "CAD files" with blueprints and codes for 3D-printing various firearms components and parts -- none of which is illegal, at least not yet.

Bragg takes aim at 3D gun manufacturing after possession and sale already prohibited

In October 2021, Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a trio of gun control bills that made it illegal to possess or sell so-called "ghost guns" -- firearms or firearms parts that don't have a serial number -- as well as to possess or sell unfinished frames and receivers, and to require all gunsmiths to serialize and register any firearms or firearms parts they manufacture.

However, while the possession and sale of such "ghost guns" are now prohibited, it is still technically legal to manufacture such unserialized firearms and parts, at least for now, though D.A. Bragg has teamed up with New York state legislators that would close the "loophole" and make it a felony to manufacture 3D-printed weapons and components and a misdemeanor to share the digital files necessary to do so, according to a report this month from the Gothamist.

That was duly noted in Bragg's press release about the indictment and arrest of Edelstein, who said in a statement, "This defendant is alleged to have made threats using weapons he easily assembled in his own apartment."

"These facts, as alleged, once again demonstrate just how simple and cheap it is for someone to create their own deadly firearms, and the rapid pace of technological advancement is only going to make this process simpler," he added. "We must pass our legislation to close the 3D gun manufacturing loophole and stop the spread of digital files to proactively address the continued proliferation of these guns."

An array of criminal charges pressed

According to D.A. Bragg's press release, Edelstein is now charged with one misdemeanor count each of menacing in the second degree and aggravated harassment in the second degree in relation to the threatening text messages and Facetime call he sent to his ex-girlfriend.

As for the weapons and components seized during the search of his apartment, he also faces five felony counts each of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and in the third degree, as well as four misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree plus one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.

Under Article 265 of New York penal law, as applicable here, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree covers the possession of "five or more firearms," while possession in the third degree covers possession of an "assault weapon" or "large-capacity" ammunition feeding devices, while in the fourth degree simply covers any and all firearms and weapons.

To be sure, presuming Edelstein really did harass and make threats against his ex-girlfriend, he should be appropriately prosecuted for such offenses, but the crackdown against the manufacture and possession of firearms in the home -- a tradition that predates even the formation of the country -- is an outrageous and egregious infringement upon the Second Amendment and is an affront to the natural rights of all people to keep and bear arms.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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