Extreme Court Decision Greenlights Polymer80 Ghost Gun Sales Nationwide — Everytown, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Mayors Against Illegal Guns Responds
Recent Everytown Analysis Found Polymer80 Was a Top Producer of Recovered Crime Guns Across 31 Cities Nationwide
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements after a dangerous ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that allows Polymer80, the largest producer of ghost gun parts and kits nationwide, to resume sales of ghost guns to 37 states nationwide. Sales are still prohibited to states that have passed state-level legislation banning the sale of ghost guns.
This court’s decision is an outlier, and two other courts evaluating similar challenges have ruled in favor of the ATF and the ghost guns rule. The U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota upheld the ghost gun regulations issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a case presenting the same issues (that decision is currently on appeal). The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has so far rejected a similar challenge to the ghost gun regulations.
“Ghost guns look like guns, kill like guns, and are the gun of choice for criminals, and yet this dangerous decision prevents the government from regulating ghost guns like all other guns,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This ruling puts American lives at risk by making it easy for people with dangerous histories to do an end run around background checks.”
“While judges hand-picked by the gun industry roll back gun safety policies and put us at risk, we won’t stop fighting in every arena to keep our communities safe,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Thanks to the grassroots gun violence prevention movement, over a dozen states have taken action to prohibit ghost guns and are protected from this ruling. Now others must follow suit to counter this dangerous judicial activism.”
“A shooter armed with a ghost gun took my best friend, my classmate, and my childhood from me. Now, instead of worrying about exams, I worry about the emotional and physical scars from being shot and the possibility of it happening again,” said Mia Tretta, a Students Demand Action National Advisory Board member in California and a wounded survivor of the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School. “We can never erase the damage from that shooting, but we can and will take action to fight against this dangerous decision and keep these deadly weapons out of our schools and communities.”
“As mayors across the country fight to keep untraceable ghost guns out of the hands of criminals in our cities, the Polymer80 ruling is a step back, putting our children and families at risk,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, Co-Chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “Ghost guns, which are among the most difficult to trace and regulate, allow criminals to evade prosecution and continue terrorizing our communities. Allowing homemade, make-it-yourself firearms that take less than an hour to assemble to go unregulated will lead to more shootings and more deaths on our streets. Tens of millions of Americans are in greater danger today due to the court’s ruling. Mayors will continue to work diligently to stop illegal firearms from entering our communities and save lives.”
The case is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the court is already hearing arguments on prior orders issued by the same judge to other ghost gun sellers allowing them to resume selling ghost guns. Additionally, states can take action by passing laws to prohibit the sale of ghost guns.
A recent data analysis conducted by Everytown for Gun Safety in partnership with 31 members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nonpartisan coalition of current and former mayors that is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, found that Polymer80, the largest producer of ghost gun parts and kits, was the fifth-largest producer of crime guns in the cities surveyed in 2021. Additionally, last month, a new Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) report found that the number of ghost guns recovered by law enforcement agencies and submitted to ATF for tracing increased by 1,083% from 2017 (1,629) to 2021 (19,273).
The federal ghost guns rule is a result of years of advocacy from Everytown and went into effect in August 2022. It was issued by ATF after President Biden issued an executive order in March 2021 directing the agency to stop the proliferation of these deadly, untraceable weapons. Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers and Everytown supporters drove nearly 100,000 comments in support of the rule on ghost guns. The rule remains in effect for all other ghost gun sellers besides those identified in this order and prior orders issued by the same judge.