Dexter Taylor Gives Fiery Statement Before Judge Hands Down 10-Year Sentence for Gunsmithing Hobby


Brooklyn-based software engineer Dexter Taylor was sentenced on Monday to ten years in prison for building firearms in his own home. Last month, he was convicted on 13 counts related to his building and possessing rifles and pistols.


The 53-year-old New Yorker’s story has garnered increasing attention on digital, with many expressing outrage over his conviction and sentencing. Much of the anger involved Judge Abena Darkeh’s admonishment that the Second Amendment could not be mentioned by Taylor’s defense during the trial and the apparent bias shown by the court.

Just before his sentencing, Taylor was allowed to make a statement addressing the court. The following comes from a transcript of the court proceedings.

Thank you, Your Honor. I appreciate it. Family, friends, and allies and foundationalists and honored adversaries, today we enter the next phase in the fight to protect our God-given rights from a government that wishes to take them from us and grant us mere privileges in return. To quote another patriot from another place and time, “This is not the end. This is not even the beginning of the end. This is perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

And so, as we enter this new phase, there should be no question in the mind of any patriotic American as to why we fight. After all, only slaves lack the right to arm self-defense and we are no slaves, but free citizens of a great republic and we contain multitudes each of us from builder, a healer, a teacher, a statesman, a soldier, a judge, an attorney at law, a sergeant at arms, and an image of God. So, we know why we fight.

The question before us is how we must fight. What kind of discipline we must bring with us into battle and what spirit we must show to our friends and adversaries alike and by way of answering, we refer to our core doctrines.

The foundationalist’s manifesto calls us to listen closely and to speak clearly. To deny the self at the same time to defend the individual. To respect tradition and also to cultivate the future. In short, as foundationalists, we are called to embrace disciplines that seem to contradict each other but nonetheless, to embrace them with all of our strength.

So, it is in our current fight because this system as dysfunctional as it often is, as unjust as it often is, it is nonetheless, our system. It is a feature not a bug of our American civilization. Like any other structure built from man’s crooked timber, it is not perfect. Judges and attorneys and trial courts and juries in the light of day are not perfect. Judges and attorneys and trial courts and juries in the light of day are merely what we have instead of the blood feud and the vendetta and the dagger in the dead of night.

Knowing this, we give challenge even as we give thanks. Knowing this, we prepare ourselves for battle in a spirit of profound dissatisfaction and profound gratitude in equal measure.

That is the apparent contradiction we face as we continue this struggle for the civil rights of our fellow New Yorkers and our fellow Americans. On the one hand, to hate this system, our system enough to fight it but on the other hand, to love it enough, love it enough to think it’s worth fighting for. Nothing else will do for us but this profoundly Christian habit of defeating a contradiction by fully embracing both sides of it.

So, when our adversaries look for us let them find – to  quote my Christian friend “A bee shiniest at a wasp’s hostility.” Let us show them a soldier’s intensity and diplomat’s calm. Let our adversaries find us stern in battle, patient in defeat, and gracious in our ultimate victory which is certain. In short, when our adversaries look for us, let them find reasonable men and irrational patriots.

When I was a boy my grandfather told me that fire is a great servant, but a terrible master and so it is with Government. And to the extent that our own Government attempts to be our master, we must oppose it. We must fight to the utmost limits of our strength, but in that fight, our spirit must be one of restoration, not destruction. We must confront the enemy as the firefighter confronts his enemy and for the same reasons that the structure itself may yet, be saved.

God bless and keep you all and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you, Your Honor.


After Taylor delivered his comments, it was time for Judge Darkeh to issue the sentence. Before doing so, she complained about the many people in the media and on social media platforms who have criticized her handling of Taylor’s case. 

“Before I impose sentence, I am going to address certain events that have occurred in the aftermath of this trial,” she said, according to the transcript.

Following the jury’s verdict, this Court has received and have been made aware of a series of alarming communications including e-mail, text messages, phone calls, letters, and other forms of outreach. These communications disparaged me personally, based on my race and my gender.

They include references to specific rulings and exchanges that occurred during the trial. Some blatantly distort the record, others misquote statements I made.

“These communications have not been limited to me. They have been sent to or have been received by court staff, other members of the judiciary and Kings County District Attorney, Eric Gonzalez and members of his staff. In fairness to the defendant and in deference to the integrity of these proceedings with the exception of a hand full that made their way to me, I have chosen not to read any of these communications.”

Darkeh did acknowledge that “the Court is not aware of any evidence that connects the defendant, Dexter Taylor to these communications” but asserted that “these communications constitute a sad commentary.”

The judge then sentenced Taylor to 10 years in prison followed by “a period of three years post-release supervision.”


Taylor’s attorney indicated that he will be appealing the ruling. The family has set up a GiveSendGo campaign to fund his legal battle.