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Baltimore reaches $1.2M settlement in lawsuit against 'ghost gun' manufacturer Polymer80

Baltimore reaches $1.2M settlement in lawsuit against 'ghost gun' manufacturer Polymer80
Baltimore reaches $1.2M settlement in lawsuit against 'ghost gun' manufacturer Polymer80 03:16

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore City has reached a $1.2 million settlement in its lawsuit against the leading manufacturer of untraceable, unserialized "ghost guns" plaguing the city, Mayor Brandon Scott announced Wednesday. 

The city filed its lawsuit against Polymer80 Inc. in 2022, accusing the company of negligence, public nuisance, and violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.

The lawsuit alleged the company intentionally undermined federal and state firearms laws by designing, manufacturing, selling, and providing ghost gun kits and parts to buyers who do not undergo a background check.

The mayor's office said all relief sought in the lawsuit was secured in the settlement. That includes:

  • Permanently prohibiting Polymer80 from advertising in Maryland or selling ghost guns to Maryland residents
  • Polymer80 must ban its dealers in nearby states from selling ghost guns to Maryland residents, 
  • Cease all customer support in Maryland,
  • Polymer80 is required to provide quarterly reports to the city documenting all sales of ghost guns in neighboring states.  

"This is a historic settlement," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said. "We know that ghost guns have been a huge problem for us."

In 2023, the Baltimore Police Department seized 462 ghost guns. Already in 2024 year to date, BPD has already seized 43 ghost guns, an increase of 30% compared to this time last year.

Some Baltimore residents say they are pleased by the settlement.

"I think it's a step in the right direction," said Alex Nguyen.

"I think it's fantastic," added Helen Jones.

The Affirmative Litigation Division of Baltimore City's Department of Law, the Brady Center, a national gun violence prevention organization, and Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national public-interest law firm, filed the lawsuit jointly against Polymer80 Inc. and Hanover Armory. 

Hanover Armory regularly sells Polymer80's gun kits in Maryland without determining whether customers are prohibited from owning a firearm, according to the lawsuit.

The city said its case against Hanover Armory will continue and is scheduled for trial this October. 

"We must hold everyone who has a hand in this violence accountable, from those who choose to pull the trigger, all the way up to the gun dealers and manufacturers responsible for the flow of guns into our City," Mayor Scott said in a statement. "This settlement – and the statement it sends about the harmful impact of these ghost guns – is a critical victory for the effort to confront gun violence in our communities."

Maryland's state ban on ghost guns took effect in 2022. It makes it a misdemeanor to buy and sell unfinished gun frames and receivers with up to 5 years in jail and a ten thousand dollar fine if found guilty.

Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon, gun violence survivor and Brady Board Chair Dr. Joseph Sakran says this settlement is a victory. 

"These aren't just numbers and statistics. These are brothers and sisters and fathers and mothers," Sakran said. "We have to try to tackle it in a way that allows us to address the variety of facets that is resulting in people being injured and killed on a daily basis."

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