Polymer80 pistol build kit
Travis Pike for TTAG
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By Robert Jablon, AP

Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies badly wounded in an ambush shooting last year sued a Nevada company Monday for making the parts for a “ghost gun” used in the attack.

The lawsuit alleges Polymer80 Inc. negligently and unlawfully sold an “untraceable home-assembled gun kit” that resulted in the September attack.

It was the latest effort to deal with the proliferation of ghost guns, which are put together from commercial kits or parts bought online. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn’t consider the uncompleted kits to be firearms, so buyers don’t have to undergo the usual background checks, and in most states the guns aren’t required to have serial numbers.

Law enforcement agencies say the weapons are increasingly turning up at crime scenes. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has said the guns now account for a third of all weapons recovered by the LAPD. Federal officials say thousands have been seized in connection with crime investigations.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of deputies Claudia Apolinar and Emmanuel Perez-Perez, who were shot and wounded Sept. 12 as they sat in their patrol car at a Metro rail station in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.

The attacker fired through the car’s passenger window. Apolinar and Perez-Perez were shot in the head and arms. Neither has been able to return to work, according to the lawsuit.

LASD Deputies Shot California
A screen grab from a security camera video released the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shows a gunman walking up to sheriff’s deputies and opening fire without warning or provocation in Compton, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via AP)

Deonte Lee Murray was arrested three days later after a nine-hour standoff with police in nearby Lynwood. He pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges and could face life in state prison if convicted.

Investigators said a gun Murray threw from a car window while he was being pursued matched the one used to shoot the deputies.

That weapon was built from a Polymer80 kit, model PF940c, according to the lawsuit.

The kit provided most of the parts for a handgun and was compatible with Glock components, according to Polymer80’s website.

Murray was forbidden to buy or possess a gun because of previous convictions for sales and possession of narcotics, firearm possession, receiving stolen property, burglary and terrorist threats, authorities said.

The lawsuit contends that Dayton, Nevada-based Polymer80, which holds a federal firearms license, “purposefully sold their products without markings to make it difficult for law enforcement to trace the firearm.”

“Defendants knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk – that they were creating and contributing to a direct and secondary market for illegal, unserialized and untraceable guns, knowing that their firearms were likely to end up in the hands of criminals and were likely to be used for criminal purposes,” the suit contended.

The suit alleges the company violated both federal and California gun laws.

Emails seeking comment from the company weren’t immediately returned.

The ATF last December served a search warrant on Polymer80 as it investigated whether the company evaded gun laws by making and selling the kits.

However, on its website, the company said some of its do-it-yourself kits, including the PF940C, were classified by the ATF “as not falling within the federal definition of ‘firearm.’”

The lawsuit was filed by Everytown Law, which has sued several other ghost gun parts providers. In February, it joined the city of Los Angeles in suing Polymer80 for allegedly creating a public nuisance and violating the state’s business code.

The anti-gun violence organization also filed a lawsuit last year against another gun parts seller on behalf of a teenaged girl who survived a 2019 shooting at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita. A student, 16-year-old Nathan Berhow, opened fire with an unregistered gun, killing two other students and wounding three before shooting himself.

Also last year, the families of those killed and wounded in a 2017 shooting rampage in rural California sued manufacturers and sellers of ghost gun kits. Investigators said the shooter, Kevin Neal, manufactured an unregistered rifle to target an elementary school and randomly shot at homes and motorists in a rural subdivision about 130 miles (209 kilometers) north of Sacramento. He killed his wife and four others before killing himself.

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  1. So, using this “logic”, if someone comes into the hardware store and buys a hammer, then uses it to kill someone , you sue the hardware store and maybe the company that made the hammer ? Sounds like the Twilight Zone !

      • The slant, and use of otherwise out of context, commenting in the article is overwhelmingly painful!
        “ The ATF last December served a search warrant on Polymer80 as it investigated whether the company evaded gun laws by making and selling the kits.

        However, on its website, the company said some of its do-it-yourself kits, including the PF940C, were classified by the ATF “as not falling within the federal definition of ‘firearm.’”

        True, the ATF raided and determined that COMPLETE kits could not be sold. Parts kits were not and are not restricted!!
        So yes, when it says on the website that the parts kits did not fall under the federal definition of “firearm”, they are being factually correct!
        And then theres this:

        “purposefully sold their products without markings to make it difficult for law enforcement to trace the firearm.”
        There is nothing in the kit to “mark”, as there is no firearm included…see above determination from the ATF itself!

        These intentionally slanting $hithead writers pi$$me off!!!

        • The point is the absence of a background check can permit people who might be prohibited from owning a gun to acquire one. That’s the Achilles heel of ghost guns.

        • No, the point is that there is intentional misrepresentation and untruths/LIES being told.
          Criminals will always find a way to do what they do.
          No serial numbers needed. Are you saying that criminals never commit crimes with serial numbered guns? Or serial numbers on guns/frames prevent criminals from committing crimes? If they do, then your comment is moot.

      • If serialization is such a importance in crime solving, how did they catch all those “ghost guns?”

        Is not a hammer an arm in certain applications? Tell your “NO” to someone killed with a hammer claw into their skull. A rock…a stick…a foot or hand… We waste our heartbeats on logic, when Libturds are only focused on their twisted ideology.

        Politician with laws never stops bad guys with guns…..serialized or not.
        He only controls the good guys, which is his true agenda.
        The bad guy with a gun is merely an Useful Idiot to further the politician’s agenda against the good guys.

      • When others failed to speak I said a long time ago that advertising 80 percent kits as Untraceable is not wise. They just went after Remington for what was said to be advertising to criminals.

        Allowing the Second Amendment to hinge on what criminals do is a sure fire way hold the door open for Gun Control. Obviously it is the mindset of some people to run blame The Second Amendment instead of holding the criminal solely accountable. That program must end unless you enjoy seeing Freedom being slapped around by scumbags who play on words…Words that fly over the heads of those who should have known better than to say nothing.

      • Unless of course your INTENT was to use the hammer to injure people in which case it falls under the category of “arms” and is definitely covered by the Second Amendment.

      • Unless you consider a hammer an “arm,” and that’s a reasonable interpretation given that war hammers were a thing.

    • a restricted person can still buy a hammer. and should be able to buy an 80% kit. but once it’s assembled things get ugly.
      have an albatross hanging around your neck? you should still be able to defend your residence.
      can o worms.

    • That’s not what they are saying. What they are actually claiming is this as the foundation for their case:

      “Defendants knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk – that they were creating and contributing to a direct and secondary market for illegal, unserialized and untraceable guns, knowing that their firearms were likely to end up in the hands of criminals and were likely to be used for criminal purposes,”

      Using your example; if the “hardware store” “knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk – ” their hammers were going to used by criminals to commit crimes but still sold hammers they could be held accountable.

      The trick here is in proving that your “hardware store” did in fact “knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk – ” their hammers were going to used by criminals to commit crimes. Its the same for this case, that “knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk’ is what this case hinges on.

      Its the “tobacco industry lawsuit” tactic. In those the premise was that the tobacco industry “knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk” that their product could cause harm.

  2. So what do markings on a firearm have to do with a Criminal criminaling? This criminal was probably too stupid to finish the 80% lower himself. And probably bought it from somebody that did. Criminals are going to criminal no matter how many words on paper you write. The only thing we can do to limit that is to arm as many people as possible. Then when a criminal does something stupid people can shoot back and solve the problem.

  3. The PF940c “kit” does not contain “nearly all the parts necessary” to built a complete gun. Complete hogwash. It comes with an unfinished frame, disposable jig, two drill bits, and a locking block. You still need to separately purchase the lower parts kit (trigger assembly, pins, bar, etc.), slide, barrel, upper parts kit, sights, magazines, etc. All the PF940c provides is the frame itself.

    And as far as suing Polymer80, I’d really like to see how a company can be held liable for…let’s see…following the law insofar as selling items that are currently legal to produce and ship per both Federal and CA State regulations. The unfinished frame is under scrutiny, but is still not a firearm. Suing a manufacturer for the actions of a criminal would expose automobile, cell phone, computer, and many other companies to such lawsuits. Doesn’t hold water.

    • “nearly all the parts necessary” is ambiguous on purpose with “nearly “. If they gave a certain number or percentage their case would fail on that point because they would need to prove that the company supplied what was needed to make the gun functional and not just make a gun.

      By saying “nearly” it could be any percentage or thing or something in any number greater than 50% and still be “nearly” without them having to prove functionality enabling by the company.

      For example; if you need 100 apples to make a 60 apple pies from scratch but only have 55 apples you can say you have “nearly” enough apples. In relation to the gun here, if your goal is to make a whole gun and you have 80% of that needed to make the gun functional you could say you have “nearly” enough parts to make the gun functional. Generally, over 50% of something is considered “nearly” enough to complete something for a whole.

      • It’s an 80% frame! An 80% completed frame. Once completed (as in the frame has been milled/drilled) you have two, or three depending on how you look at it, parts! Three parts! Not over 50%!

        • It being an 80% completed frame is the key point here they are bring forward. Their contention is that 80% (over 50%) is “nearly” enough parts, and actually in terms of building the main part of the gun in their context they are correct to use “nearly”.

          I’d be interested to see how that argue that. If its like I am thinking they will argue that all the needed parts came from the company that supplied the 80% frame thus “nearly” also because the person would have had to mill the rest of the frame.

      • Jack, your math appears a bit flawed. Having an unfinished frame that is (by nomenclature only) “80%” finished does not equate to having an 80% finished gun. You seem to be equating the frame by itself with an entire gun.

        • yes, in our way of thinking and I’m not saying “80%” finished does not equate to having an 80% finished gun”. But in the claimants way of thinking it does, they said “nearly”. It up to them to prove what that “nearly” is and how the supplier was responsible.

        • A finished frame is a “firearm,” is it not? (I don’t know; I only know that stripped AR lowers are considered “firearms” by the ATF–and they are probably wrong about that/.)

  4. So now you have cops suing gun makers instead of thugs!? Why not sue the a-holes who let em out on bail or never charged em in the first place!?

    • You could even use the exact same logic to do so. Actually we even have the data to back this one up. The lenient activist mayors, governors, DA’s and judges that are doing everything in their power to coddle criminals and keep them out of jail…

      “knew and could foresee – but consciously disregarded the risk –” the consequences for not holding criminals accountable.

      • Because they truly BELIEVE if criminals are treated with kindness, like naughty children, they will see the error of their ways and become productive Stakhanovite shock workers ready to do their utmost for the benefit of society.

  5. Typical control freak leftist trash writing. They want everything to be either mandatory or illegal because freedom of choice frightens and confuses them, and it angers them that you have freedoms they don’t like!

  6. There are no ghost guns

    There are guns with serial numbers and guns without

    This craziness is how people think AR15’s are assault rifles.

    • I call my ghost gun casper. The only problem with it is I need to keep paying that medium to maintain contact with it.

  7. The issue here for the plaintiff’s is that Polymer 80 has worked extensively with the ATF to make sure they are compliant. In fact as of late you can not even purchase a Polymer 80 pistol kit direct. You need to purchase through a reseller.
    They are doing this simply to try and put the companies out of business. I hope those LEO’s families get stuck footing the legal bills for Polymer 80!

      • There is history of rulings declaring ammo and magazines as part of arms since they can’t function without them. An 80% receiver isn’t a gun or necessary for a gun to function. I’d interpret them as outside BATFE regulation, but also outside of PLCAA protection. They shouldn’t be held responsible for criminal misuse of a legal product by a 3rd party, but they’re going to spend years in litigation to get that decision, and they won’t get their legal fees reimbursed.

  8. I keep seeing a phrase in stories about violence that involves the use of a gun,
    “opened fire with an unregistered gun”. There is no National Registry, at least a legal one. There is no place to look up every gun produced for the owner information. Automobiles, motorcycles, yes, but guns, no. This phrase is used to scare the uniformed and make it seem sinister to own an unregistered gun. They are using this technique too often. Call out their lies!

    • California has something that they do not call a registry that records the sales of all firearms (i.e. it is a registry they just don’t call it that), and the law further requires that anyone moving here and bringing firearms has to “notify” the DOJ of the identifying information for those firearms.

    • registration…of a sort..only exists in a few states…those making these references don’t seem to grasp that and make false assumptions or deliberately dispense misinformation…

  9. A serial number would have prevented the shooting – how? Is there some magic by which numbered guns are rendered incapable of firing at cops? Or, do they suggest that the perp would have been found sooner if the gun had a number on it?

    All I see are morons wishing a problem away, without a clue about how to fix any problems – real or imagined.

    • Yes, a serial number would have prevented the shooting.

      If the gun had a serial number the police “Firearms Serial Number Detection System” would have warned the cops of an approaching firearm, then the “Firearms Unknown Check Number Obstruction” (FUCNO) system would have kicked in and automatically raised the shields and dispensed bullet proof foam around the vehicle and laid down a cloud of knock out gas and the officers would have been teleported to safety.

  10. that these kits are made to ger around the law is false they are made for anybody who wants to try their hand at completing a gun and there is no national registry of guns but the ATF and democrats wish they were and tv shows like to make out like there is one I used to chuckle every time one of the CSI shows that are by CBS would say the would check on who owned a gun especially the one that was supposed to be in Mima Fl because that’s one of the last states that would have one

  11. Looking at the pic with the article… is it easy to complete an 80% frame with a dremel ?

    Seems it would be more difficult. I did an AR-15 80% lower about a year ago, used a router.

  12. So this “ghost gun” is not “traceable.” SO WHAT??? They have the gun, and they have connected it both to the shooting and to the shooter. For the purpose of convicting the shooter, no more is needed. Whether or not the gun was traceable had zero nothing nada zilch to do with the injuries inflicted on the officers. If this had been a stolen gun the result would be the same–although traceable to the original purchaser, that trace would not put the gun in the hands of the shooter.

    • Yep. I came down here to note that “untraceable” or not, they seem to have caught the villain just fine.

      In real life, gun tracing very very rarely plays any significant part in solving the crime in question. If you’re lucky it might lead to a secondary case, e.g for straw purchasing … but, really, how often is that even prosecuted anyway?

  13. Oh those extra deadly guns without serial numbers. If folks only knew they could turn that old .22 into a car eating 20 mm chain gun by removing the marking on it the boys in Chicago would choppin away.

  14. Gun control reasoning:

    We all know how effective “serial numbers” are at preventing crime, they would be just as effective for guns. For example:

    1. the serial number on phones keeps criminals from calling in bomb threats so by extension keeps them from planting bombs

    2. VIN numbers on cars prevents car jacking.

    3. Serial numbers on your home appliances keeps home invasions from happening.

    Think of a peaceful world just because serial numbers exist. So why shouldn’t we require serial numbers on guns a person builds under their second amendment rights?

    Serial numbers have worked so well preventing crime that no one would be attacked, raped, or robbed any more.

    We could even “serial number shame” criminals to make them stop their in progress crime.

    Now. Group hug everyone.

  15. I have bought a few guns from both dealers and private individuals and sold a few to private individuals. I could not now tell you to whom I privately bought mine from nor to whom I sold mine. So even if the gummint boys traced a gun to me that I no longer own, I wouldn’t be able to give them any useful information.

  16. I’m actually getting the feeling all this is made up. This dept., this jurisdiction, this agency, etc., now suddenly finding “significant” numbers of “ghost guns”. Defacing serial numbers on firearms has been going on for a century. I tried an AR 80% lower once. It didn’t go well. All I got was some expensive plastic garbage.

  17. “Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore has said the guns now account for a third of all weapons recovered by the LAPD. Federal officials say thousands have been seized in connection with crime investigations.”

    And how many of these are actually used IN COMISSION of a crime? A guy (or gal) could be stopped by a cop on a traffic violation and one of these P80 guns is seized during the stop and it is automatically “in connection with crime investigations”. This is just like suicide being included in gun crimes.

    • I’ve also heard that they count guns that have simply had the serial numbers defaced or removed in the tally of “ghost guns.”

  18. I’m going to enjoy reading the reports of these 2 deputies in financial jeopardy after this case is lost and Everytown walks away.

  19. I remember a time when cops shot perpetrators when faced with a probable cause situation. Here the victim is the perpetrator and the tool used in the crime the culprit? BLM be proud? Let’s sue each other into oblivion? If the car they used, let’s sue the manufacturer as well for acting in concert to cause deadly physical harm. But of course let’s feel sorry for the criminals.

  20. No in todays society an injury on the job means a lifetime of workers comp or in the case of a LEO a lifetime of tax paid freedom from work. While they can take on a second job under the table for cash, they none the less want to bankrupt a company who sold a legitimate product. Hell I can go to a hardware store and buy an axe, use it for malice and by this new reasoning they sue the company that made the axe, the store that sold it, etc. What the hell is the problem of going after the chump who did the deed. May as well sue the clerk who sold the axe.

  21. Yeah, it’s so much easier and safer than actually calling the scumbags who are doin the dirty deeds, right!?

  22. How would any fire arm manufacturer, or parts maker/distributer have any control over who does what with their product? Should we sue Ford and GM because some miscreant used 1 of their vehicles for a drive by or just ran over someone? Perhaps we can sue Apple because a crime was planned by someone using 1 of their phones or tablets.
    What happened to holding the perpetrator responsible for the crime?

  23. Let’s see if I have this straight. An inanimate object, the kit, drove sentient, aware human beings. That seems the essence of the complaint, as I understand the thing.


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