LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The city of Los Angeles is suing Polymer80, believed to be one of the largest sellers of "ghost gun" kits and parts.
The lawsuit was filed in partnership with Everytown Law, which called ghost guns – weapons that don't have serial number and are therefore untraceable -- the fastest-growing gun safety problem facing the country. The lawsuit seeks an injunction ordering Polymer80 to stop sale of its ghost gun kits.
"Nobody who could buy a serialized gun and pass a background check would ever need a ghost gun," City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. "Yet we allege Polymer80 has made it easy for anyone, including felons, to buy and build weapons that pose a major public safety threat."
Polymer80's ghost gun kits and components are frequently sold online and can be purchased by people prohibited from legally owning guns due to their criminal history or mental health status, according to Feuer. Ghost guns are increasingly being recovered at Los Angeles-area crime scene investigations, and Feuer says more than 700 weapons recovered by the LAPD in 2020 were made up of Polymer80 parts.
LAPD Chief Michel Moore said the recent spike in Los Angeles crime may be due to the rise in ghost guns.
"These are the weapons that our officers are coming against. These are the weapons that are being used on other Angelenos. They are being used by individuals who have no right, or ability to otherwise have lawful possession of a firearm," Moore said.
The complaint accuses Nevada-based Polymer80, Inc. of violating California law by aiding and abetting in the manufacture of handguns that that do not comply with safety specifications required under the state's Unsafe Handgun Act, failing to comply with certification and serial number requirements, and unfairly competing with licensed gun dealers who because their parts do not require background checks.
According to Feuer, Polymer80 shipped approximately 9,400 items to California customers between January of 2019 and October of 2020 – including at least 200 "Buy Build Shoot" kits that contained the parts necessary for a fully functional, untraceable gun.
Polymer80 does not conduct background checks on its website, but simply asks buyers on its website to check a box verifying they are eligible under state and federal laws to purchase, own and use the components they are buying, according to Feuer.
The lawsuit also claims Polymer80's advertising misleads customers in suggesting the purchase and possession of the company's kits do not "reach the necessary state of manufacture or completion to constitute a 'firearm' under federal law."
However, Feuer alleges the ease and speed in which a Polymer80 kit can be assembled into an operable weapon does in fact meet that federal definition, in violation of the law.
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