Varias "armas fantasma" son exhibidas en la sede del Departamento de Policía de San Francisco, el 27 de noviembre de 2019, en San Francisco. (Foto: AP/Haven Daley/archivo)

The lawsuit aims to stop the distribution of untraceable ghost guns sold without a background check.

The City of Philadelphia announced that it has filed a lawsuit against defendants Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply, which are among the largest suppliers of ghost guns confiscated in Philadelphia.

The City of Philadelphia Law Department filed with co-counsel Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Hausfeld law firm. The lawsuit alleges that the named distributors have perpetuated the gun violence crisis and threatened the public’s right to health and safety by marketing, selling, and dispersing unserialized ghost gun kits into Philadelphia.

Through this legal action, the City seeks to stop Polymer80 Inc. and JSD Supply from continuing what they describe as negligent and illegal business practices, in addition to the payment of damages and the creation of an abatement fund to remediate the harms caused by the defendants due to the use of ghost guns in Philadelphia communities.

According to the lawsuit, Polymer80 Inc. and JSD Supply intentionally undermine federal and state firearms laws by designing, manufacturing, selling, and providing ghost gun kits and parts to buyers without background checks. Claiming that their products are not firearms, these distributors sell ghost gun kits used to assemble a functioning firearm with household tools to Philadelphia customers without following applicable firearm regulations.

Because they are untraceable by law enforcement and do not require a background check for purchase, ghost guns have become commonly used by those who cannot legally acquire a firearm. In 2022 alone, the Philadelphia Police Department confiscated 575 ghost guns while conducting criminal investigations. As of the filing of this lawsuit, 87 percent of the ghost guns recovered in criminal investigations in 2023 were manufactured by Polymer80.

 “Today, the City of Philadelphia is taking a stand against gun violence that kills hundreds of people–including children– every year. In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in the criminal use of illegal, unserialized ghost guns, assembled using ghost gun kits sold by Polymer80 Inc. and JSD Supply. These untraceable weapons pose a dire threat to our public health and safety and are often used to inflict violence,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “We are holding these distributors accountable for supplying ghost guns into our streets and for the havoc they have wreaked in Philadelphia communities. Public safety is our top priority, and we use every available resource to address and prevent the trauma and irreparable loss caused by gun violence.”

 “Polymer80 Inc. and JSD Supply have created a public nuisance by supplying illegal ghost guns to unlicensed individuals in Philadelphia, consequently perpetuating gun violence and causing devastating harm across the city, most often in Black and Brown neighborhoods,” said Diana Cortes, City Solicitor. “Through this lawsuit, the City is taking action to stop gun violence at the root by preventing guns from getting into the hands of criminals and children and wreaking havoc in our communities.”

 “As a gun violence prevention advocate, I know that gun violence happens when someone who should not have a gun is able to access a gun,” said Deputy Chief Counsel David Pucino of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The two ghost gun companies that the City is suing today do not care who they are selling to, whether it’s someone with a felony record, someone at risk of suicide, a child, or a gun trafficker. That’s not just morally wrong—it’s a violation of Pennsylvania law”.

 «Over the past two years, nearly 10 percent of the crime guns recovered by our department have been privately made firearms, also known as ghost guns,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “They are a dangerous tool in the hands of those that seek to do harm in our city and can even end up in the hands of unassuming children. Together, we will strive for a safer Philadelphia.»

 “By supplying guns without the background checks required by state law, Polymer80 Inc and JSD Supply are making it easy for high-risk individuals with a history of violent acts and firearm offenses to obtain guns. In doing so, they are putting all Philadelphians at risk. More than two hundred Philadelphia children have been shot in a single year and children across the city report being afraid to walk outside their homes,” said Cheryl Bettigole, Health Commissioner.

 “Getting ghost guns off Philadelphia streets is not just a job for law enforcement entities; many City departments are teaming up to support their efforts,” said Managing Director Tumar Alexander.  “So, today’s lawsuit announcement against the biggest manufacturer and supplier of the ghost guns recovered by law enforcement shows our shared commitment to hold them accountable for their role in creating a crisis-level issue in our city.”

 “We support this lawsuit announced today by Mayor Kenney against the makers of parts used to create so-called Ghost guns,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “These untraceable guns are increasingly the firearm of choice for criminals’ intent on committing crimes with a gun in Philadelphia — precisely because they’re not traceable. We cannot wait for help from Washington and Harrisburg on the Gun issue because far too often, it never comes”.

 «Ghost guns in the hands of criminals are a growing problem for law enforcement nationwide, including Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, chair of City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention and vice chairman of Council’s Public Safety Committee.  “It’s easy to find both individual parts for guns and complete kits for sale on the internet that provide everything needed for assembly. Ghost guns are not traceable because the parts lack serial numbers».

About Ghost Guns

A “ghost gun” is a firearm that is privately manufactured, home-assembled, and untraceable.  Ghost guns are sold in unfinished, disassembled form and then assembled into fully functional guns by purchasers at home using common household tools. Typically, ghost guns (a) start off as an easy-to-finish frame purchased in a kit or separately along with other necessary parts, and (b) are assembled by the purchaser into a functional firearm that has no serial number.

Ghost guns can be acquired without a background check and are often used by those who cannot legally acquire a firearm, including minors and people with a history of felonies. Additionally, because they are unserialized, law enforcement cannot trace them to their original purchaser.


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