On June 1st, Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that Baltimore City filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest ghost gun manufacturer, Polymer80, Inc.
The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, asks the Court to order Polymer80 to stop the public health crisis that the company has caused. June 1, 2022, represents the first day that Maryland’s recent ban on ghost guns went into effect.
The lawsuit was filed by the Affirmative Litigation Division within Baltimore City’s Department of Law, Brady, a national gun violence prevention organization, and Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, a national public-interest law firm. The lawsuit alleges negligence, and public nuisance, and violations of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.
“Polymer 80 accounts for 91% of all the ghost guns seized in Baltimore,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady.
According to city police, 187 ghost guns have been seized so far this year and the number of ghost guns used in crimes has grown substantially. In 2018, police seized nine ghost guns, and that number jumped to 30 in 2019, 128 in 2020 and 352 last year.
“Takedowns alone are not enough. Legislation alone is not enough. We have to crack down on the companies that are profiting off the destruction and death within our communities,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said.
The lawsuit accuses Polymer80 of marketing “build your own” gun kits to minors, criminals, gun traffickers and others who need to circumvent background checks. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages and costs caused by ghost guns — a figure that is still being tallied.
“They are untraceable, (which) makes the job of law enforcement much more difficult. This is a chance to hold the nation’s largest manufacturer accountable for their contributions to the violence we see on the streets day in and day out,” Deputy Police Commissioner Michael Sullivan said.
The lawsuit alleges Polymer80 sold “do it yourself” gun assembly kits and completion kits at Hanover Armory in Maryland. City police recovered 40 pistol frames, a drill press and other assembly tools.
“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,” said Mayor Scott. “We must stop Polymer80 and companies like it that profit from destroying our communities.”
The lawsuit requests compensatory damages for policing costs to the City of Baltimore, punitive damages and injunctive relief requiring Polymer80 to stop the flow of ghost guns into Baltimore City.