BALTIMORE (AP) – The city of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against one of the largest manufacturers of “ghost gun” kits in the United States on Wednesday, the same day that the Maryland ban on non-tracked weapons came into force, news agencies reported.
Mayor Brendan Scott said the lawsuit was filed in Baltimore District Court against Nevada-based Polymer80, which sells kits for assembling customers themselves, and the Hanoverian Arms Store, Anne Arundel County Arms Store. The lawsuit alleges that Polymer80 intentionally undermines federal and state firearms laws by developing, manufacturing, and providing kits and parts without serial numbers to untested buyers.
“Girls are not enough. Legislation is not enough, ”Scott told a news conference. “We need to deal with companies that profit from destruction and death in our communities.”
The new state law expands the definition of firearms and includes an “unfinished frame or receiver.” Anyone who sells or sells a ghost gun faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $ 10,000. If the second stage of the law comes into force in March 2023, a man with a ghost gun faces two years in prison and a fine of up to $ 10,000.
Polymer80 President and CEO Laurent Kelly Jr. declined to comment to The Associated Press. A person answering the phone at the Hanover Armory declined to comment, news agencies reported. It is unclear whether this or that business is serviced.
The lawsuit was filed by the city’s judicial department, the Brady Center for the Prevention of Violence with Weapons and the national law firm of Sanford Heisler Sharp. It is similar to those filed in the cities of Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Although the lawsuit did not specify what damage it claimed, city attorney James Shea said officials were working on an assessment that would be “substantial.”
City police said ghosts were used in the growing number of shootings. Until 2018, no ghost weapons were confiscated in the city, but last year police found 324, which is 14% of all firearms, officials said. This year, ghost weapons accounted for 19% of all confiscated guns. According to the complaint, ninety-one percent of the ghost weapons found by police in Baltimore from January 2020 to April this year were Polymer80 weapons.
“Ghost weapons are a devastating threat to Baltimore residents,” Scott said. “This lawsuit covers Polymer80 and individuals who regularly create a market for lethal weapons that are not tracked.”