Polymer80 pistol build kit
Travis Pike for TTAG
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As state and local authorities have waited for federal regulation, some have taken steps to regulate the sale of ghost guns. 

In 2016, then-California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that didn’t outlaw ghost gun kits but required anyone making a homemade firearm to have it serialized and to pass a background check — drawing the ire of gun advocates, including the Firearms Policy Coalition.

Eight states followed with their own laws, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, including Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Washington.

Several cities, especially in California, also took action. The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in November that bans the possession, sale or purchase of guns or major gun parts that don’t have serial numbers. The measure followed on the heels of similar bans in San Francisco and San Diego in September that went a step beyond the 2016 California law.

California passed an additional requirement in 2019 that will mandate background checks to buy the major parts used to make ghost guns, along with the previous serial number requirement. The law is set to go into effect this year.

Polymer80 has pushed back against some restrictions. The company is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought against ATF by parents of children who died in a ghost gun shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California, in 2019. (The case has been stayed pending release of ATF’s final ghost gun rule.) And the company successfully sued to overturn part of a ghost gun ban in its home state, Nevada.   

It also hired Mark Barnes & Associates, a boutique law firm in Washington, D.C., in August 2020 to lobby federal decision-makers in its behalf, according to federal lobbying disclosures — although Barnes’ lobbying reports have revealed little actual lobbying for Polymer80 so far.

The lawsuit brought by Apolinar and Perez-Perez, the Los Angeles County deputies shot with a Polymer80 ghost gun in September 2020, is moving through the court system. Their lawyers declined to comment. Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit brought by the city, filed in February 2021, claims that Polymer80’s sales practices “make a mockery of federal and state background check laws.”

In an interview, City Attorney Mike Feuer said the city’s goal is to stop the flow of ghost guns into Los Angeles by blocking Polymer80 from selling its products in California, alleging that they they violate existing firearms regulations. (Polymer80 has denied that it is breaking the state law.)

“It’s too late when a crime is committed using a ghost gun,” Feuer said. “There’s been a victim at that point. I want to prevent those crimes in the first place by working to cut off the supply.”

Like many other major cities, Los Angeles has seen a marked increase in violence over the past two years. The Los Angeles Police Department reported 397 homicides last year, up from 355 in 2020 and 258 in 2019. Shootings rose from 1,337 in 2020 to 1,499 last year. The Los Angeles Police Department declined to comment, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to requests for comment. 

— Joshua Eaton in Polymer80’s name has become synonymous with ‘ghost guns.’ Now it’s in the crosshairs.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s something to depress you –

    EDIT – On the other hand, this extreme regulatory over-reach could prove a ripe target for slapping down for good this kind of BS…

    • Unfreaking believable! I have 80% kits for AR15’s and AR10’s for personal builds just because I wanted to build really high quality guns with top of the line barrels and BCG’s and scopes. Now I don’t know what the hell is legal or not. I guess I need to talk to someone versed in firearms laws. If they can even keep this crap straight!

      • “Now I don’t know what the hell is legal or not.”

        I think that’s the point, just like that long-assed ‘work sheet’ for pistol braces that ends with “and if we don’t like it anyways, we’ll arrest you”

        Make the process so vague and complicated, that you just say ‘fuck this noise’ and don’t bother.

        The good news for us is, that makes it a ripe target for a lawsuit in court. 🙂

        (Of course, it also means some poor slob has to get arrested, first. Do you want to volunteer? 🙁 )

        • I’m waiting for these clowns to tell me my legally purchased Springfield Saint 300 BLK pistol is now a SBR.

  2. “The Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance in November that bans the possession, sale or purchase of guns or major gun parts that don’t have serial numbers.”

    Well, The ONLY gun part of an AR15 that has a serial number is the lower. Some manufactures put numbers on other parts but that’s rare, doesn’t cover much, and might not even be a ‘serial number’. If someone buys something from someone that they made from an 80% lower and doesn’t have a serial number, then they bought it without a serial number. The only difference made might be in an addition criminal charge. But if we are talking about someone that has been in prison for murder, armed robbery, and rape then I highly doubt that this additional charge would make even the slightest difference to the prospective buyer. Which means it wont have the stated effect. Only the desired effect.

    The only way to get anywhere with any of this is to prosecute the criminals and keep them locked up. Anything else is just a waste of resources.

  3. Without a Federal Universal Background Check and Safe Storage Laws states with lax laws will continue to funnel in guns to states with tough laws making their laws useless.

    In the mean time the Ghost gun catastrophe is causing an unprecedented rise in crime and mass murder with with firearms as they have become the weapon of choice for nut cases and criminals.

    I might add all this is has been rendered rather academic as Biden has ordered the ATF to ban them. Its the standard end run around Congress which has become a partisan do nothing body of fools and prostitutes of big business.

    A PARTIAL LIST OF LUNATICS AND CRIMINALS WHO BUILT GHOST GUNS AND USED THEM IN CRIME OR MASS MURDERS.

    Are ghost guns frequently used in violent crime?????????????????????????

    Yes, ghost guns are increasing being used in shootings across the country.

    In July 2020, an individual who was prohibited from possessing guns allegedly murdered two people in Pennsylvania using a homemade 9mm handgun.9

    In November 2019, a 16-year-old shot five of his classmates at Saugus High School in California—two of them fatally—using a homemade handgun, before fatally shooting himself.10

    In August 2019, a shooter used a homemade gun kit to build a .223-caliber firearm that he later used to fire 41 shots in 32 seconds in a bar in Dayton, Ohio, shooting 26 people and killing nine.11

    In 2017, in Northern California, a man prohibited from possessing firearms ordered kits to build AR-15-style rifles. On November 13, he initiated a series of shootings that began with fatally shooting his wife at home, followed by a rampage the next day during which he fired at multiple people in several different locations, including an elementary school, killing five people and injuring dozens more.12

    In 2013, a shooter opened fire in Santa Monica, California, shooting 100 rounds, killing five people, and injuring several others at a community college using a homemade AR-15 rifle. Reporting indicates the shooter had previously tried to purchase a firearm from a licensed gun dealer and failed a background check, potentially indicating why he opted to order parts to build a gun instead.13

    Law enforcement officials around the country are sounding the alarm about the dramatic increase in the recovery of ghost guns at crime scenes in their communities. ATF reported that approximately 10,000 ghost guns were recovered across the country in 2019.14 Ghost guns have also been illegally trafficked to Mexico.15 In addition:

    In 2019, Washington, D.C., police recovered 115 ghost guns, a 360 percent increase from 2018, when they recovered 25 ghost guns, and a 3,733 percent increase from 2017, when only three such firearms were recovered.16

    In 2019, ATF reported recovering 117 ghost guns in Maryland with almost 25 percent recovered from Baltimore alone. Ghost gun recoveries in the state then tripled in 2020.17
    According to law enforcement in Philadelphia, ghost gun recoveries in that city rose 152 percent from 2019 to 2020.18

    The special agent in charge of the ATF Los Angeles Field Division reported in January 2021 that 41 percent of the division’s cases involve ghost guns, and a May 2019 statewide analysis in California found that 30 percent of all guns recovered in connection with a crime in the state did not have serial numbers.19

    In addition, an investigation by The Trace found that ghost guns are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for violent white supremacists and anti-government extremists.20

    In conclusion the ATF is a law unto itself and as in the past it rules at 8:00 AM and it is then a new “regulation” (disingenuous term for new law) is now the law of the land at 5:00 PM.

    No Judge Conservative or Liberal will declare the ATF ruling illegal or Unconstitutional because ghost guns are a danger to the people of the country and even the much ballyhooed Scalia decision with the usual double talk and smoke and mirrors declared “The Courts had the right to regulate firearms” (slick disingenuous term for ban or restrict firearms).

    In conclusion your right to own a weapon rests with the rulings of the courts, not the Constitution, and history has proven this reality like it or not.

    No sane person would want ghost guns legal and no other civilized nation tolerates them.

    • Yes, Dacian. Focus on the inanimate object. Don’t focus on the criminal who commits the crime.

      [/sarc]

      Oh yeah…TL;DR [not sarc]

      • dacian is pro slavery. He/she or WTF it is, wants to be ruled over by the gov. Instructed on what to do. Held in absolute safety, just like a really expensive plantation slave. Fed, watered. Protected. Kept safe, and worked. Give half the gov all your money, or even more than half, and have the gov own you, and keep you safe. Safety and government ownership, are dacian’s most important top axioms.

        For dacian – “freedom can never be too low.”

        • That’s why I say we have no hope for change except by force. This country has been taken over by corrupt politicians for over 45 years. Everyone one that in government from the past 45 years has baggage. They all need to be put on trial and investigated.i do home work ….. 𝙛𝙪𝙡𝙟𝙤𝙗𝙯.𝙘𝙤𝙢

        • I say we execute A-hole spammers like ‘Maham665’.

          Fuck off, spammer… 🙁

    • Yawn let me know when we hit the 70’s crime rate, or even the 90’s for the country instead of a few democrat controlled hell holes.

    • Your full of shit. It’s not the guns fault it’s the criminals fault. Just like it’s not the forks fault that you are a fatass, lazy piece of shit liar.

    • dacian the stupid,

      You complete effing retard of a brainless moron . . . let me put you some knowledge. The plural of “anecdote” is NOT data. List for me the crimes prevented by this idiot law. List for me the ways that this law “prevents” crime. List for me all the people who LEGALLY purchased firearms, and then used them to commit ACTUAL crimes.

      Of, a better alternative, STFU, go away, and leave us alone. Your idiot views are well-known, and justly ignored for their obvious stupidity. Restating stupid does not make it less stupid. You are an ignoranus. Please stop abusing us by subjecting us to your serial stupidity.

      Go join your daily circle jerk, go pound salt in your @$$, and go micturate up a cable . . . but, mostly, just GO. Far, far away. We are not laughing with you, we are laughing AT you. Get a frickin’ clue, and go drown yourself in your toilet. You are too stupid to insult.

    • Without a Federal Universal Background Check and Safe Storage Laws states with lax laws will continue to funnel in guns to states with tough laws making their laws useless.

      Guns are not being “funnelled” anywhere. People have a right to own guns. People have a right to buy guns. People have a right to sell guns. “Funnelling” is your political lies.

      In the mean time the Ghost gun catastrophe is causing an unprecedented rise in crime and mass murder with with firearms as they have become the weapon of choice for nut cases and criminals.

      “Ghost gun… causing…” No. Just No. Gun’s don’t “cause” anything. It like my light switch that I installed in my home “causes” light. Or the presence of a toilet switch, causes flushing. No. Actions “cause” things. And actions come from people. So no.

      I mean – I could keep going, refuting everything you say. But its all BS and lies. Political ideology and agitprop. It’s all garbage. There is no truth there.

  4. Curious what the ratio of ‘ghost guns’ used in crimes vs. legally manufactured for sale guns is. Seems to me that if you’re not ambitious enough to make an honest living you’re probably not ambitious enough to finish an 80% lower. I’d think stolen guns would account for 90% of crime guns.

    Also, I’ve never had any law enforcement officer get close enough to read ‘Glock’ on the slide, how are they going to know if I etched a few numbers on the frame?

  5. Meanwhile, a separate lawsuit brought by the city, filed in February 2021, claims that Polymer80’s sales practices `make a mockery of federal and state background check laws.’ ”

    The laws and the government behind them their selves “make a mockery of federal and state background check laws”. Its not a bad thing or wrong or illegal to “make a mockery of federal and state background check laws” with a legal or justified activity when such laws/rules/policy are unfair and/or unjust and/or oppressive and/or tyrannical and/or unlawfully created and/or unjustly applied and/or constitutionally unsound and/or violate constitutional rights.

    The very foundations of the United States were formed, in part, by making a mockery of such laws/rules/policy dealing with firearms restrictions – for example: Evidence has been discovered that shows the Second Amendment was prompted by British plans to disarm each and every American. In 1777, William Knox, Under Secretary of State in the British colonial Office, circulated a proposal entitled “What is it to be Done with America?” Knox advocated the creation of a ruling aristocracy loyal to the Crown, establishment of the Church of England throughout the colonies and an unlimited power to tax. To keep them servile, Knox offered the panacea of disarming all of the people and relying solely on a standing army (which would be the British army). He wrote:

    “The Militia Laws should be repealed and none suffered to be re-enacted, & the Arms of all the People should be taken away, & every piece of Ordnance removed into the King’s Stores, nor should any foundry or manufactory of Arms, Gunpowder, or Warlike Stores, be evre suffered in America, nor should any Gunpowder, Lead, Arms or Ordnance be imported into it without License; they will have but little need of such things for the future, as the King’s Troops, Ships Forts will be sufficient to protect them from any danger.”

    this and much more the British tried to do to disarm the people. and more … > https://www.independent.org/publications/article.asp?id=1422

    Its is very clear that the second amendment was intended to let the people be armed unrestricted, not connected with military/militia service. And its very clear that one has a right to make a mockery out of and resist such laws/rules/policy. Law abiding people should not be subjected to such laws/rules/policy.

  6. Considering what a mockery of liberty gun laws make of our civil rights I fail to find any fucks to give on the complaints of those who seek to ban firearms. Didn’t buy any kits (probably should have but oh well) but will not say anything negative about those who did unless they go on to commit actual crimes.

  7. When your product has been branded with a label like Ghost Gun that’s a problem. Your product is tainted and falls in the category of the n-word. The democRat Party uses the label to smear, belittle and demonize, the Rat Party has not changed a bit

  8. Either an otherwise law abiding citizen gets a “Ghost gun” and goes on a rampage OR a career criminal who has benefited from “Catch and release” law enforcement continues what he has been doing for years. One wonders what could be close to the truth.

  9. When I think of “gun control” laws, I think of how a government entity will use armed law enforcement officers to remove your guns (and you) to enforce blatantly unconstitutional laws.

    This is the tyranny from which 1776 was meant to break.

  10. They let the bangers bang, and the commies riot all in the name of ‘social justice’, yet want to blame homemade firearms for the increase in crime? Methinks there may be something else afoot.

  11. Very few firearms used in criminal activity are ever traced by serial number. Secondly, if you as a potential criminal have the knowledge and money to build a “Ghost Gun”, chances are you have the ability, knowledge and money to have a few spare parts to change out the barrel, extractors, and bolt or firing pin to keep the weapon from being matched to any casings or bullets recovered at a crime scene etc. If, you are dumb enough to spend the time and money on a home built firearm and get caught with the same weapon after using it in a crime, you should get an extra 10 years added to your sentence just for being stupid.
    I don’t claim to be a master machinist. But, even with my limited skills, and the 1950’s vintage mill I own I could fairly easily make the parts and build almost any firearm ever designed. All I need are the blue prints, or schematic drawings. As can any hobbyist metal worker/machinist.
    Next up is the fact that anyone who wants to commit a crime, or wants an unregistered or untraceable firearm will just buy it on the street/black market. Without bothering to undergo a background check or the permit process. Deal with those who commit the crimes and don’t worry about the hardware. No matter what laws, restrictions, or prohibitions are enacted, criminals will find a way of arming themselves.

  12. They know “ghost gun” laws won’t stop criminals. They’re not trying to disarm criminals. They never were. They’re not afraid of what a few criminals might do with guns. They’re trying to disarm honest citizens, because they’re afraid of what millions of honest citizens might do with guns.

  13. “Speed limits and driver licensing Fail to Keep Criminals from Committing Crimes…Again…Still”

    Clearly, as these sort of requirements do not enjoy 100% compliance, we should abolish these laws altogether.

    Interesting position.

    • Hey, MajorStupidity,

      Learn the difference between “malum in se” and “malum prohibitum”. Oh, I guess that would overtax the cup of rancid tapioca which occupies your otherwise empty cranial cavity. Remind me, again, how did “Prohibition” work out?? Or the “War on Drugs”???

      You are not only too stupid to insult, you are too stupid to tolerate. Go the f*** away, and spare us your [email protected]$$ed “witticisms” You have NOTHING to say that anyone here wants to hear, and if you ever had an original thought, your pea-sized “brain” would explode. F*** off and die, Leftist/fascist moron.

    • Clearly, as these sort of requirements do not enjoy 100% compliance, we should abolish these laws altogether.

      The same could be said for freedom hating, collective thinking, commie pinko democrats:

      Clearly, as these sorts of laws didn’t get 100% compliance, we should pass more of the same laws.

      Interesting position.

    • Traffic laws are not attempts to stop bad actors from doing intentional evil. They are attempts to prevent accidents, by organizing the efforts of good people who mean no harm.

      “Ghost gun” laws are not about inadvertent harm, for instance due to poor quality of hobbyist guns. They are billed as measures to prevent intentional criminal acts. Anybody with two brain cells to rub together can see the difference.

      • “Traffic laws are not attempts to stop bad actors from doing intentional evil.
        They are attempts to prevent accidents, by organizing the efforts of good people who mean no harm.“

        Reckless driving is intentional evil, wouldn’t you say?

        DUI is intentional evil, unless someone hold you down and funnels alcohol into you involuntarily.

        Operating a motor vehicle without an operators license or insurance or automobile licensing is an intentional criminal act.

        And, as compliance is not one hundred percent, it seems the general attitude on this forum is a these laws should be abolished.

        Again, a very interesting position.

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