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Maryland Residents Will Be OUT The Market Moving Forward For Ghost Guns

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In a significant development in the fight against gun violence, a major manufacturer of ghost guns, Polymer80 based in Nevada, has agreed to halt the sale of its untraceable, unassembled firearms to residents of Maryland. This decision comes as part of a settlement agreement announced on Wednesday by the city of Baltimore, which had filed a lawsuit against the company two years ago in response to the escalating presence of ghost guns on the city’s streets, particularly among minors.

According to city officials, the settlement grants Baltimore all measures of relief requested in the lawsuit, including $1.2 million in damages. Mayor Brandon Scott emphasized the critical victory this represents in the ongoing effort to confront gun violence in communities, stating that nine out of ten homicides in Baltimore City involve guns.

Polymer80 has yet to respond to requests for comment on the settlement. The lawsuit against the company accused it of intentionally circumventing federal and state firearms laws by providing gun assembly kits without serial numbers to buyers who bypassed background checks. This legal action coincided with Maryland’s implementation of a statewide ban on ghost guns in 2022.

The issue of ghost guns has garnered national attention, with the Biden administration introducing federal regulations to address their proliferation. However, these regulations faced immediate legal challenges from gun rights groups. Attorneys representing Baltimore argued that Polymer80’s classification of its kits as “non-firearms” allowed them to be obtained by individuals prohibited from purchasing firearms, such as convicted felons and minors.

While Baltimore saw a decrease in homicides and shootings last year, leaders are still grappling with rising youth violence. The city partnered with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in filing the lawsuit against Polymer80, with senior litigation counsel Philip Bangle highlighting the dubious market for ghost guns.

Polymer80 has faced similar litigation in other cities, resulting in settlement agreements that curtailed its operations. However, Baltimore’s settlement is described as the most comprehensive to date, imposing restrictions on advertising and sales extending to nearby states. The lawsuit also targeted Hanover Armory, a Maryland gun shop, which is not part of the settlement and remains subject to ongoing litigation. Baltimore officials underscored the prevalence of ghost guns in the city, with 462 seized by police last year.

Mayor Scott emphasized his administration’s commitment to addressing gun violence through all available means, signaling the lawsuit as a demonstration of this resolve.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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