City of Baltimore Reaches Settlement in Polymer80

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, February 21, 2024) – Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced that Baltimore City has reached a settlement in its lawsuit against Polymer80, the leading manufacturer of ghost gun kits in the United States. Ghost guns are unserialized, largely untraceable firearms. By falsely classifying its kits as “non-firearms,” Polymer80 has ensured that many of their products end up in the hands of convicted felons and minors.

This settlement secures all relief sought in the lawsuit. The City will receive $1.2 million from Polymer80 in damages, and the terms of the settlement permanently prohibit Polymer80 from advertising in Maryland or selling ghost guns to Maryland residents. In addition, it must ban its dealers in nearby states from selling ghost guns to Maryland residents, cease all customer support in Maryland, and must provide quarterly reports to the City documenting all sales of ghost guns in neighboring states.

In total, the settlement terms account for the most expansive and strictest injunctive terms so far of any of the lawsuits against ghost gun manufacturers brought by jurisdictions across the country.

“Nine out of ten homicides in Baltimore City are committed with guns,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As I have promised, the City is using every tool at its disposal to address the epidemic of gun violence we face, and our comprehensive approach is finally seeing success in driving down violence. We must hold everyone who has a hand in this violence accountable, from those who choose to pull the trigger, all the way up to the gun dealers and manufacturers responsible for the flow of guns into our City. This settlement – and the statement it sends about the harmful impact of these ghost guns – is a critical victory for the effort to confront gun violence in our communities.”

“Reducing gun crimes requires a multi-prong approach that tackles the issue on every level,” said City Solicitor Ebony M. Thompson. “That includes bringing suits like this action against Polymer 80, as well as the lawsuit that we are pursuing against ATF to obtain important gun tracing data that would allow cities like ours to see from where illegal firearms are coming. We are doing everything in our power to ensure that we address gun violence that far too many Baltimoreans have experienced.”

Partnering with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the City brought this suit against Polymer 80 and Hanover Armory in 2022 in response to the rapid escalation of ghost guns appearing on Baltimore streets and in the hands of minors. The City’s case against Hanover Armory will continue and is currently scheduled for trial in October 2024.

Baltimore City is represented by Thomas Webb and Sara Gross of the Baltimore City Department of Law, James Hannaway and Brent Hannafan of Sanford Heisler Sharp LLP, and Phil Bangle of the Brady Center.

Ghost guns continue to be a prevalent source of gun violence in Baltimore City. In 2023, the Baltimore Police Department seized 462 ghost guns. Already in 2024 year to date, BPD has already seized 43 ghost guns, an increase of 30% compared to this time last year.

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