Amateur Gunsmith Told by N.Y. Judge the Second Amendment ‘Doesn’t Exist’ in Her Courtroom Gets 10 Years in Prison

Dexter Taylor came face-to-face with a judge who said the Second Amendment ‘doesn’t exist’ in her courtroom.

AP/Brittainy Newman, file
A handgun for sale at a dealer at Hempstead, New York. AP/Brittainy Newman, file

A Brooklyn man has been sentenced to ten years in state prison for legally purchasing gun parts and assembling weapons in his home, his lawyer tells the Sun. Dexter Taylor began assembling firearms as a hobby during the pandemic. 

“This defendant allegedly acquired a massive arsenal of homemade ghost guns that are as real and dangerous as traditional firearms,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said when Taylor was arrested in 2022. In total, Taylor had built 13 firearms in his home and had in his possession at the time of his arrest several magazines, as well as casing, bullets, and gunpowder. 

“It was excessive,” Taylor’s lawyer, Vinoo Varghese, tells the Sun of his client’s ten year sentence. Taylor was found guilty by a jury on April 22 on multiple charges, including second-degree criminal possession of a loaded weapon, four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, five counts of criminal possession of a firearm, and second-degree criminal possession of five or more firearms, among other things. 

“The D.A. asked for ten years,” Mr. Varghese said. Of the judge, he added: “She could have sentenced him to three-and-a-half.”

The jurist in the case, Judge Abena Darkeh, famously said during Taylor’s trial that his lawyers could not make arguments based on his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Mr. Varghese told RedState that Judge Darkeh said at one point: “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.”

Taylor began assembling the firearms in his spare time as a hobby. He is professionally a software engineer and previously was a member in good standing at the Westside Rifle and Pistol Range in Manhattan, according to a fundraising page for Taylor’s legal defense fund that has raised nearly $175,000. 

In an interview with RedState, Taylor said he was not amassing weapons as the prosecution alleged. Rather, he is a hobbyist who was fascinated by the intricate workings of firearms. 

“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,” he said.

“And once I saw that I was hooked,” he added. “I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing ever. This is the most cool thing you could possibly do in your machine shop.’”


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