LOS ANGELES, California — Polymer80, the largest retailer of unfinished pistol frames, settled a lawsuit with the city of Los Angeles for $5 million and agreed not to sell its unfinished frames kit in California without first serializing the frame and running a background check on the prospective buyer.
“This settlement holds Polymer80 and its founders accountable, keeps guns out of the hands of prohibited people, makes L.A. neighborhoods safer and will help law enforcement to their jobs,” Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto said in a statement.
The company itself must pay $4 million in civil fines to the city, and the company’s two owners also personally must pay $1 million in civil penalties. L.A. is just one of the many cities around the country suing sellers of unfinished frames and receivers.
Anti-gun cities, politicians, and gun control groups have declared war on companies that sell unfinished frames and receivers, which they call “ghost guns.”
Even the White House weighed into the attacks on privately manufactured firearms (PMF) by ordering the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to make a new rule on unfinished frames and receivers. The ATF would eventually enact a new rule that banned selling frame blanks and jigs together at the end of August 2022. Gun control groups pushed the ATF to take the rule even further, leading to the ATF releasing a letter on December 27, 2022, claiming that frame blanks must be serialized regardless of if the kit included a jig.
Polymer80 and other companies sued the federal government over the ATF’s final rule on unfinished frames and receivers. Polymer80 was able to convince a Texas District Judge in the Fifth Circuit to issue an injunction enjoining the ATF from enforcing the frames and receivers rule on the Nevada-based company. The company would return to selling the original kits, including the frame, drill bits, rails, and jigs which infuriated anti-gun groups and government officials.
The uptick in lawsuits has come at the behest of anti-gun groups such as Brady that offer continuing legal education (CLE) classes that teach anti-gun lawyers how to sue the gun industry. Many think these suits’ ultimate goal is to put firearms and firearms-related companies out of business or get these customer lists to target these companies’ customers. New York City agreed not to seek a financial settlement with multiple companies in exchange for those companies’ customer lists.
Many of these anti-gun groups view homemade firearms as tools of criminals. Everytown and other anti-gun groups tend to lump unserialized firearm frames in with guns with obliterated serial numbers. These groups look past the millions of unserialized firearms built by law-abiding citizens who make guns for various reasons.
“Online, no-questions-asked sales of ghost gun-building kits have funneled too many firearms into the hands of felons, minors, and other prohibited people,” said Eric Tirschwell, Executive Director of Everytown Law.
The L.A. suit is just one of many lawsuits that are using taxpayer money to try to put companies out of business for selling a product they are legally allowed to sell.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.