Washington, D.C., won a permanent injunction and a $4 million judgment against one of the largest manufacturers of unserialized ‘ghost gun’ parts after a judge ruled that the company falsely informed consumers for years that buying the pieces to make such guns was legal in the city, the Washington Post reports. The ruling was issued against Nevada-based Polymer80, which sells the lower frames and receivers which can be used to make a pistol or a rifle, including the parts used to make an AR-15 style rifle. Weapons constructed with such parts are called ghost guns because they don’t contain serial numbers, and so can’t be traced to an original manufacturer or seller.
The number of ghost guns recovered by D.C. police has risen from three in 2017 to 116 two years later to 439 last year, with 344 recoveries this year through July 29. A ghost gun resembling an AR-15 was used to shoot at two reserve police officers in D.C. in 2019. The city passed a law in 2020 banning ghost gun kits. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine sued Polymer80 in 2020, saying that it was operating as an unlicensed gun dealer in the District. The suit alleged that Polymer was falsely claiming that it was legal for D.C. residents to purchase “80 percent lowers,” which require some machining and additional parts to make a complete gun, or “buy build shoot” kits with all the necessary parts. D.C. Superior Court Judge Ebony Scott ruled “that Polymer80′s handgun frames, semi-automatic receivers, and Buy, Build, Shoot kits are firearms.”