New York Attorney General Letitia James's office has brought a lawsuit against a Georgia-based gun component maker regarding the deadly mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store in May 2022.
CNN  — 

New York’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a gun component maker for allegedly aiding in the illegal possession of assault weapons in the state – including the weapon used in the Buffalo grocery store shooting last year – by marketing an ammunition lock that can be easily removed.

State law bans the possession of assault weapons and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Mean LLC, a Georgia-based company also known as Mean Arms, produces and sells a magazine lock known as MA Lock.

The attorney general’s office alleges in the lawsuit, “Mean Arms is deceptively and falsely advertising to purchasers within New York, including via its website, YouTube, and third-party sellers, that installing an MA Lock on a semiautomatic rifle, that otherwise may be an illegal assault weapon under New York law, makes the weapon legal.”

CNN has reached out to Mean LLC for comment.

The lawsuit alleges that Mean Arms provides instructions on its packaging of how to remove the lock. When the lock is removed, the lawsuit alleges, a shooter can replace the magazine with one that holds more ammunition, making the firearm illegal in the state.

The gunman at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo, New York, last May legally bought a semiautomatic rifle with the MA Lock installed on it, but easily removed it using a power drill, according to the attorney general’s office. He replaced the 10-round magazine with a higher-capacity magazine, and later killed 10 people and wounded others in a racist mass shooting that targeted Black shoppers.

“Using basic tools in his family’s home and following easily available instructions, within a matter of minutes, the Buffalo shooter simply removed the MA Lock from the rifle,” the lawsuit alleges.

New York Attorney General Letitia James decried that the shooter was able to make his firearm more deadly “through a simple change at home,” she said in a statement.

“The racist mass shooting at the Tops grocery store in Buffalo was one of the darkest days in the history of our state and our nation,” James said. “We cannot undo the devastating harm that was done, but this lawsuit against Mean Arms is part of our ongoing effort to pursue justice for the ten innocent lives that were unjustly taken.”

The attorney general’s office is seeking to stop Mean Arms from selling MA Locks in New York, issue corrective statements, and pay restitution and damages.