Skip to main content

When Gross Exaggeration Turns into Blatant Lies: NY Attorney General Letitia James

When Gross Exaggeration Turns into Blatant Lies: NY Attorney General Letitia James

(Whitney Welshimer / Shutterstock photo)

Who is the most out-of-touch gun-hating politician in the United States? Let’s combine that question with another: What anti-gun politician tends to make the most absurd statements that aren’t remotely true, much less provable?

Of course, in today’s political climate the answer to those questions isn’t easy. After all, gun-ban-loving politicians are a dime a dozen, and it seems we hear more lies from them every day.

However, since I asked the question, I’ll answer it. Based on some of her recent statements in the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, my money right now is on New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Before getting to her blatant lies about so-called gun “buyback” programs, let’s take a look at her “big whopper” of the interview, ironically buried in the very last paragraph of the story and apparently left unquestioned by the reporter.

"What's so tragic,” James said last Friday, “is that in some parts of New York state, you can find a gun more easily than you can find an apple."

An apple? Whoa, there, Laticia!

Admittedly, as a resident of a “flyover state” I don’t know much about the status of apple orchards in New York, so I did a little research. (AG James could, too, if she cared about the truth.) According to a New York State Senate news release, apple growers harvest a whopping 29.5 million bushels of apples annually in New York, making it the second-largest apple-producing state in the country.

In fact, according to the New York Apple Association, “Apple-lovers choose New York apples, not just for their extraordinary flavor, but also because they crave the ‘experience’ of New York apples. Why? Because there’s nothing like picking your own apple in a pick-your-own orchard, finding that special heirloom variety at your local farmer’s market or selecting a delicious New York variety at the grocery store.”

Unless there are 29.4 million bushels of guns growing on trees in the Empire State, it is not actually easier to find a gun than to find an apple, and James darned well knows it. But gun-ban proponents in high places have become so accustomed to making outrageous claims and not having anyone in the so-called “mainstream” media question them, they just go right on telling whopper after whopper. They don’t care if it’s true, as long as it might turn one more person undecided on the gun issue into an anti-gun advocate.

The statement was actually made in the context of a recent gun “buyback” in New Rochelle, New York. Concerning the event, James said, “When a gun is turned in at our event, we know that it will be safely disposed of by law enforcement, and we know that it will never fall into the wrong hands or potentially be used for harm. Therefore, any gun that we collect is one less gun that is in a home or in our community that could potentially endanger someone.”

Aside from the fact that a gun can’t endanger anyone without a dangerous person operating it, such a statement by James also ignores research on the topic. In fact, a recent study proved that so-called “buybacks” are basically worthless. A paper titled “Have U.S. Gun Buybacks Misfired,” authored by Toshio Ferrazares, Joseph J. Sabia and D. Mark Anderson, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concluded that such “buybacks” have no measurable impact on reducing violent crime.

“Given our estimated null findings, with 95 percent confidence, we can rule out decreases in firearm-related crime of greater than 1.3 percent during the year following a buyback,” the study’s abstract concluded. “Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, we also find no evidence that GBPs reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”


About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Patrick Sweeney gives some history on this interesting pistol.

Radom Pistol

Patrick Sweeney shows off Springfield Armory's latest offering, the 1911 DS Prodigy.

Springfield Armory Prodigy

James Tarr is at Roundtable 2022 with Mike Humphreys of Springfield Armory to get a look at their highly-anticipated 1911 DS Prodigy.

Springfield Armory 1911 DS Prodigy

Dr. Dabbs shares some history on a war classic, The Wild Geese and the film's featured guns.

The Wild Geese

Patrick Sweeney gives us all the details on this Taurus Optic Ready Option micro-compact 9mm.

Taurus GX4 T.O.R.O.

Take a look at Patrick Sweeney's review of this reliable carry pistol from Beretta's APX line.

Beretta APX A1 Carry

Patrick Sweeney gives us a good look at this well equipped compact 10mm from Springfield Armory.

Springfield Armory XD-M OSP 10mm

Patrick Sweeney reviews the SilencerCo Harvester EVO.

SilencerCo Harvester EVO

The Mossberg MC2sc subcompact 9mm striker-fired pistol is put through its paces by Patrick Sweeney.

Mossberg MC2sc Subcompact Pistol (VIDEO)

Firearms News Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Firearms News stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now