After being sued by the D.C. attorney general for illegal sales in the city, a firearms manufacturer was ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages and was barred from further sales within the district.
D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement on Thursday that Polymer80 must pay more than $4 million in penalties for illegally advertising gun kits that would allow residents of D.C. to construct their own firearms without serial numbers or other identification numbers. The attorney general of the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the company for allegedly misleading customers into believing that the weapon kits were legal when, in fact, they were illegal.
After a Supreme Court ruling, DC residents sue over the city’s gun ban on public transportation.
Racine said in a statement that the verdict against Polymer80 was “a major victory for DC residents and for public safety” and that it would help reduce the number of illegally imported “ghost guns” that cannot be tracked. In light of the District’s ongoing gun violence, my office is committed to doing everything in its power to ensure the safety of District of Columbia residents. The court’s imposition of over $4 million in fines in this case should serve as a stern warning to gunmakers, wholesalers, and retailers across the country: “You cannot sell illegal guns to residents of the District of Columbia.”
In June 2020, Racine filed suit against Polymer80, requesting a temporary injunction to prevent the sale of firearms pending the outcome of the case. A judge ruled on Wednesday that the company had broken the city’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act by selling firearms to customers under the false impression that they were legitimate.
Polymer80 responded to the lawsuit by arguing that the gun kits are not illegal under local law because they do not meet the federal definition of a firearm. The corporation also maintained that it lacked proof that its kits were widely used in the district or that many people lived there.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Polymer80 for comment, but the company did not provide any.
According to the attorney general, Polymer80 must pay the city over $4 million within the next 30 days and permanently cease sales of illegal ghost guns, as well as inform customers that the products are illegal to purchase in the district.
Court found company violated city law by selling 19 gun kits to district residents, according to Racine’s legal team. This victory in court comes at a time when the city government, led by the attorney general, has been working to limit gun violence and the sale of firearms in the area.
So far this year, the Metropolitan Police Department has recovered over 1,820 illegal firearms, 344 of which were “ghost guns,” as reported by the state’s top prosecutor. While only three ghost guns were discovered in the area in 2017, 439 were recovered in 2021.
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Late last year, advocates for the right to bear arms filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that the district’s definition of “ghost gun” was too broad, which led to a dramatic increase in ghost gun seizures. In response, the District of Columbia Council passed an emergency bill to bring local law into conformity with federal statutes and provide more precise definitions.
The city of Baltimore, among others, has filed suit against Polymer80, accusing the company of selling firearms to “those who want to evade law enforcement or who cannot obtain a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee, including underage buyers, buyers with criminal convictions, and gun traffickers.” Ghost gun sales are illegal in Maryland.
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