Demand has Surged for Ghost Guns—Unregulated, Untraceable Do-it-Yourself Firearms Not Subject to Background Checks
Ghost Guns are a Rapidly Growing Problem Nationwide; Court Filings this Week Showed Polymer80 Ghost Guns are by far the Most Common Ghost Gun Make that Law Enforcement is Recovering
New York – Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, today released the following statement after the Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives raided the premises of Polymer80, a ghost gun manufacturer that is responsible for a flood of ghost guns that are being used to commit crimes in rapidly increasing numbers in cities across America.
The raid came the day after Everytown Law filed voluminous court papers in its federal lawsuit in New York, detailing a rise in recoveries of ghost guns across the country — with Polymer80 ghost guns being by far the most common ghost gun make that law enforcement is recovering in multiple cities.
Everytown Law first urged ATF to address the growing menace of unregulated ghost guns in a petition for rulemaking filed back in December 2019, and followed up with a lawsuit against ATF filed in August 2020. The lawsuit — brought on behalf of Syracuse, NY; San Jose, CA; Chicago, IL; and Columbia, SC — specifically challenged three letters that ATF had issued to Polymer80 in 2015 and 2017, which the company was using on its website to claim its gun kits were legal and did not require serial numbers or background checks.
“After years of regulatory failure, this is a first step in addressing the clear threat posed by ghost guns,” said Eric Tirschwell, managing director for Everytown Law. “What happens next is critical. With ghost guns turning up at crime scenes across the country, the ATF must make clear that federal gun laws apply to their core components — including requirements for background checks and serial numbers. We will keep pressing our case in court unless and until ATF shuts down this illegal and life-threatening industry.”
In court papers filed Wednesday, Everytown Law highlighted:
- Ghost guns are being recovered in cities across the country in exponentially increasing numbers, with Polymer80 ghost guns being by far the most common ghost gun make that law enforcement is recovering in multiple cities;
- Polymer80 ghost guns constituted 90% of all ghost guns recovered in recent years in Syracuse, New York, and over 80% of ghost guns recovered recently in Washington, D.C.;
- Polymer80 ghost guns have been used in at least three shootings in Chicago, IL;
- Ghost guns have been recovered in nine homicide investigations in San Jose, CA, and San Jose police have recovered at least 12 firearms made from Polymer80 kits