NATIONAL NEWS

‘Ghost gun’ makers agree to halt sales in Philadelphia in settlement with the city

Apr 11, 2024, 1:27 PM

Two gun parts manufacturers have agreed to halt sales of their products in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, city officials said Thursday, announcing a settlement of their lawsuit against the companies.

Philadelphia filed suit against Polymer80 and JSD Supply in July, accusing the manufacturers of perpetuating gun violence in the city by manufacturing and selling untraceable, self-manufactured weapons commonly known as “ghost guns.”

Under the settlement, JSD, based in Butler, Pennsylvania, agreed it would no longer sell its products in the state, city officials said.

Dayton, Nevada-based Polymer80 agreed it would not sell to customers in Philadelphia or the nearby counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton, which include the cities of Allentown, Easton, Reading and Lancaster. Additionally, Polymer80 agreed to pay $1.3 million.

The settlement was expected to be filed with the court on Friday. Messages were left at both companies seeking comment on the agreement.

“These weapons have ended up in the hands of our youth and individuals who are not otherwise permitted to possess a firearm, and the consequences in our communities have been devastating,” Renee Garcia, Philadelphia’s city solicitor, said in a statement. “We are grateful to have reached this resolution to hold the defendants accountable for their negligent business practices and the role they have played in perpetuating deadly gun violence across Philadelphia.”

Ghost guns, which can be purchased without a background check and assembled at home, have become the weapon of choice for children, criminals and others who cannot lawfully own a gun, according to city officials.

They have been used in a staggering number of shootings in recent years. Between 2019 and 2022, police recorded a fourfold increase in the number of ghost guns that had been used to commit crimes, according to the city’s lawsuit. In 2022, city police seized 575 of the guns.

Last July, a gunman armed with an AR-15-style weapon and a handgun — both self-manufactured — went on a shooting spree that killed five people in Philadelphia.

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‘Ghost gun’ makers agree to halt sales in Philadelphia in settlement with the city