Leading Ghost Gun Manufacturer Agrees to Cease Sales in Maryland Following Lawsuit Settlement

In a significant development in the fight against gun violence, leading ghost gun manufacturer Polymer80 has agreed to halt the sale of its untraceable firearms to residents of Maryland. The settlement agreement, announced by the city of Baltimore on Wednesday, comes after a two-year legal battle initiated by city leaders to address the alarming proliferation of ghost guns on the streets, particularly among minors.

Under the terms of the settlement, which grants the city all requested relief, including $1.2 million in damages, Polymer80 will no longer sell its unassembled firearms to Maryland residents. Mayor Brandon Scott hailed the agreement as a critical victory in the ongoing effort to combat gun violence, citing the alarming statistic that nine out of ten homicides in Baltimore involve firearms.

Polymer80, a Nevada-based company, was accused in the lawsuit of intentionally undermining federal and state firearms laws by providing gun assembly kits without serial numbers to buyers who bypassed background checks. The lawsuit was filed on the same day that Maryland implemented a statewide ban on ghost guns in 2022, expanding the definition of firearms to include unfinished frames or receivers.

The Biden administration has also taken steps to address the proliferation of ghost guns, announcing new federal regulations in 2022. However, these regulations faced immediate legal challenges from gun rights groups. Attorneys representing Baltimore argued that Polymer80 falsely classified its gun-making kits as “non-firearms,” enabling their distribution to convicted felons and minors who are prohibited from purchasing firearms.

While Baltimore witnessed a decline in homicides and shootings last year, city leaders are grappling with a rise in youth violence. To combat this issue, Baltimore partnered with the national nonprofit Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in filing the lawsuit against Polymer80. Philip Bangle, senior litigation counsel for Brady, emphasized that the only market for ghost guns is individuals who cannot legally purchase firearms from licensed dealers.

Polymer80 has faced similar litigation in other cities, including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In Los Angeles, the company settled after one of its products was used in a high school shooting that claimed the lives of three children. The settlement agreement in Washington resulted in a $4 million judgment against Polymer80 and a ban on its products’ sale to city residents. However, Baltimore’s settlement is considered the most comprehensive to date, as it restricts the company’s operations, prohibits advertising in Maryland, and extends the sales ban to dealers in neighboring states conducting business with Maryland residents.

As part of the settlement, Polymer80 is required to submit quarterly reports documenting all sales of ghost guns in neighboring states. Baltimore officials highlighted the prevalence of ghost guns in the city, with 462 seized by the police last year alone. Mayor Scott, who is seeking reelection this year, emphasized that the lawsuit demonstrates his administration’s commitment to utilizing all available tools to address the epidemic of gun violence.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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