Philadelphia Strikes a Blow Against ‘Ghost Guns’ in Landmark Settlement

Settlement© ftwitty / Getty Images Signature / Canva

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The City of Philadelphia has secured a settlement that marks a significant victory in the battle against the rising tide of untraceable firearms, known as “ghost guns,” flooding its streets. The city’s lawsuit against Polymer80, Inc., and JSD Supply, major suppliers of these elusive weapons, has culminated in an agreement that will see a halt to the marketing and sale of ghost gun kits within the city and its surrounding counties.

The lawsuit, initiated in May 2023 by the Philadelphia Law Department alongside GIFFORDS Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and the Hausfeld law firm, accused the defendants of exacerbating the city’s gun violence crisis by illegally distributing unserialized ghost gun kits. These kits allow individuals to assemble fully functioning firearms within minutes without serial numbers, making the weapons nearly impossible for law enforcement to trace.

Under the terms of the settlement, Polymer80 is permanently banned from advertising or selling their ghost gun kits in Philadelphia and is restricted from doing so in the adjacent counties for four years. The company has also agreed to pay the city $1.3 million over four years, funds that are earmarked for combating and mitigating the effects of gun violence within the community.

Similarly, JSD Supply, identified as Pennsylvania’s largest distributor of ghost guns, has agreed to cease the sale of ghost gun kits to consumers in the state for a period of four years. Additionally, Eagle Shows, a gun show operated by JSD Supply, will prohibit vendors from selling ghost guns at their events for two years.

Mayor Cherelle L. Parker hailed the settlement as a monumental achievement for public safety, emphasizing the significant impact that the ban on ghost gun distribution would have on reducing gun violence in Philadelphia. “This settlement agreement means that the two largest manufacturers and distributors of ghost gun parts can no longer distribute or market them in Philadelphia. That’s a huge win for our public safety efforts,” Parker stated.

The ease with which individuals can obtain these unserialized gun kits — bypassing background checks and legal purchasing requirements — has posed a significant challenge for law enforcement and public safety officials. The kits are accessible even to those legally barred from possessing firearms, including minors, contributing to a surge in gun-related incidents and fatalities.

City Solicitor Renee Garcia underlined the gravity of the situation, noting the devastating consequences ghost guns have had on the community. Through this legal action, the city aims to curb the flow of these dangerous weapons into the hands of criminals and others not legally permitted to carry guns.

Police Commissioner Kevin J. Bethel echoed the sentiment, highlighting the difficulties ghost guns present for law enforcement due to their untraceability and easy accessibility. “This settlement agreement marks an important step in keeping our communities safe,” Bethel remarked.

The settlement with Polymer80 and JSD Supply represents a critical stride in Philadelphia’s ongoing efforts to address gun violence and underscores the city’s resolve to hold companies accountable for practices that endanger public safety. As cities across the nation grapple with similar challenges, Philadelphia’s proactive stance offers a potential blueprint for combatting the proliferation of ghost guns and preserving community well-being.

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