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Everytown Law: ATF Should Revoke Firearms License Granted to Successor of Gun Manufacturer Tied to Trafficking

8.13.2020

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund Has Also Bid in Jimenez Arms LLC’s Bankruptcy Auction To Keep The Inventory of Cheap, Dangerous Firearms From Ending up Being Used in Gun Trafficking 

New Reporting from the Daily Beast and The Trace Details ‘Time-Tested Strategy for Countering Litigation and Regulatory Scrutiny’

NEW YORK — Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, is urging the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives to revoke a recently issued federal firearms license (FFL) granted to the successor company of Jimenez Arms LLC, a Nevada-based gun manufacturer that declared bankruptcy this year amid two Kansas City, Missouri lawsuits alleging it repeatedly broke federal law and sold 32 guns to a man who has since been charged with gun trafficking. Less than three months after Jimenez Arms declared bankruptcy, ATF granted a federal firearms license to JA Industries LLC — run by Mr. Paul Jimenez, the owner of Jimenez Arms — that allows it to manufacture and sell firearms.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund also announced today that it bid in Jimenez Arms’ bankruptcy auction in an effort to keep its firearms inventory from being transferred to JA Industries LLC. Should it win the bankruptcy auction, Everytown has arranged for a licensed FFL to take possession and destroy these cheap guns favored by criminals in order to prevent any possible distribution into the illegal market.  This will prevent JA Industries from profiting off these dangerously unreliable, poorly-made guns.

In 2003, Jimenez Arms’ predecessor company declared bankruptcy amid a lawsuit seeking to hold it accountable for the defects in one of its guns – which resulted in the paralysis of a 7-year-old-boy. The assets of the predecessor company were then purchased by Paul Jimenez — a former employee — with money from the predecessor company’s owner, leading to the creation of Jimenez Arms.

“Jimenez Arms is turning back to a familiar playbook in an effort to duck accountability,” said Alla Lefkowitz, director of affirmative litigation for Everytown Law. “A new company name should not be enough to let its owner get back into business and continue putting the public at risk. If the ATF isn’t going to do its job to protect the public, we won’t stand by and let history repeat itself.”

Last month, Everytown Law urged ATF to revoke the license, detailing in a 10-page letter evidence showing that Jimenez Arms had repeatedly broken federal gun law, had been threatened with ATF prosecution for providing firearms to someone prohibited from possessing them, had hidden information from the ATF and had failed to pay more more than $1.3 million in federal and state taxes.ATF has not yet responded to the letter.

Jimenez Arms declared bankruptcy in February, after a judge rejected its requests to dismiss a lawsuit seeking accountability for the murder of Dwight Crawford, who was killed in Kansas City, MO with a trafficked Jimenez Arms handgun. The lawsuit, brought by Crawford’s parents, is one of two suits seeking to hold Jimenez Arms responsible for its role in supplying firearms that contributed to gun violence in Kansas City. The other suit, filed by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, is the first lawsuit filed by a city against the gun industry in more than 10 years.

Crawford’s parents and Kansas City are represented by Everytown Law and Williams Dirks Dameron LLC of Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City is also represented by the City Attorney’s Office.