Baltimore Sues Manufacturer of Untraceable 'Tools of Death'

City alleges Polymer80 'profit[s] from destroying our communities'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2022 7:55 AM CDT
Baltimore Sues Manufacturer of Untraceable 'Tools of Death'
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott attends a news conference at the Port of Baltimore on March 21, 2022.   (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

(Newser) – The city of Baltimore has joined Los Angeles and Washington, DC, in suing one of the nation's largest manufacturers of untraceable ghost guns, labeling the weapons without serial numbers a "devastating menace" to residents and Americans at large. Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott announced the lawsuit against Polymer80, Inc. for alleged negligence, public nuisance, and violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act on Wednesday, saying "a safer Baltimore" requires a crackdown on "these tools of death, destruction, and violence," which come in kits assembled at home, per WJZ-TV. "We must stop Polymer80 and companies like it that profit from destroying our communities."

The lawsuit—coinciding with a new state ban on the sale, receipt, and transfer of ghost guns—alleges Polymer80 "intentionally undermines 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," per CNN. "The availability of these weapons—particularly to criminals, juveniles and other people who are prohibited from owning a firearm—presents a growing public health crisis," Scott said, per WJZ. The lawsuit also names Hanover Armory, an Anne Arundel County gun retailer, alleging it sells Polymer80's gun kits without evaluating whether customers are allowed to own a firearm.

"It should not be easier for me to purchase a ghost gun than it is for me to buy my allergy medicine at CVS or go to buy a used car," Scott said, per the Washington Post. City officials say 91% of the 187 ghost guns confiscated by Baltimore Police so far this year were manufactured by Polymer80. Police confiscated 352 ghost guns last year—including 32 linked to a homicide or shooting, per the lawsuit—up from 128 in 2020 and 30 in 2019, per the Post and WJZ. "The actual number of guns on the street far exceeds those recovered in crime investigations," the city adds. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages for policing costs, punitive damages, and "injunctive relief requiring the defendants to cease the public nuisance they have created." (Read more Baltimore stories.)

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