City of Philadelphia Achieves Landmark Settlement in Lawsuit Against Primary Distributors of Ghost Guns, Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply

On April 12, the City of Philadelphia announced that it has reached a landmark settlement to resolve its lawsuit against defendants Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply, which are among the largest suppliers and distributors of ghost guns confiscated in Philadelphia. Hausfeld worked with the City of Philadelphia Law Department and Giffords Law Center to investigate this important matter and bring suit in July 2023, alleging that the named defendants have perpetuated the gun violence crisis and threatened the public’s right to health and safety by illegally distributing unserialized ghost gun products in Philadelphia. 

The settlement agreement prohibits Polymer80 from ever advertising or selling ghost guns in Philadelphia. Additionally, the agreement prevents the company from marketing or selling ghost gun products in the surrounding counties for four years. The City will also receive $1.3M in compensation, which will be used for efforts to remediate the harms caused by the gun violence epidemic. The settlement also requires JSD Supply, the biggest distributor of ghost guns in Pennsylvania, to stop selling ghost guns products to consumers in Pennsylvania for four years.

“Ghost guns fuel and cause harm to Philadelphians,” said Mayor Cherelle L. Parker. “This settlement agreement reached by our city Law Department under Solicitor Renee Garcia, her team, and our external legal partners means that the two largest manufacturers and distributors of ghost gun parts can no longer distribute or market them in Philadelphia. That’s a huge win for our public safety efforts.”  

“Polymer80 Inc. and JSD Supply sell ghost gun kits that can be used to assemble an unserialized, fully functioning firearm in minutes, without conducting a background check. The kits are accessible to people who are not legally permitted to carry a gun, including children, and the consequences in our communities have been devastating,” said Renee Garcia, City Solicitor. “We are grateful to reach this resolution to hold these companies accountable and stop them from marketing and selling to consumers in Philadelphia.”

David Pucino, Legal Director and Deputy Chief Counsel at Giffords Law Center, commented, “We’re proud to have worked with the city and our co-counsel, the Hausfeld law firm, to secure a settlement with Polymer80 and JSD Supply, and keep ghost guns out of Philadelphia neighborhoods. The gun industry must be held accountable when it breaks the law and endangers Americans.”  

“We have been honored to represent the City in such timely and impactful litigation to combat the gun violence crisis in Philadelphia,” said Hausfeld partner Katie R. Beran. “The defendant companies have exploited the market for illegal crime guns through reckless and unlawful conduct. With this lawsuit, the City, in collaboration with our co-counsel at the Giffords Law Center, sends a clear message that prioritizing profits over the safety and wellbeing of Philadelphia residents will not be tolerated.”

More information is available in the City of Philadelphia press release and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence press release.

The Hausfeld team includes Katie R. Beran, James D. Gotz, Erika A. Inwald, and Angel Dorsey.

About Ghost Guns

A “ghost gun” is a firearm that is privately manufactured, home-assembled, and untraceable.  Ghost guns are sold in unfinished, disassembled form and then assembled into fully functional guns by purchasers, at home, using common household tools. Typically, ghost guns (a) start off as an easy-to-finish frame or receiver blank purchased in a kit or separately along with other necessary parts and (b) are assembled by the purchaser into a completed and functional firearm that has no serial number. Ghost guns can be acquired without a background check and have become the weapon of choice for those who cannot legally acquire a firearm, including minors and people with a history of felonies. Additionally, because they are unserialized and cannot be traced by law enforcement to their original purchaser, they are the weapon of choice for illegal gun traffickers and it is unknown how many ghost guns are on the streets of Philadelphia today. Philadelphia law enforcement are increasingly recovering ghost guns in a wide variety of criminal investigations involving drugs, juvenile possession, and intimate partner violence. Ghost guns have also been involved in suicides, where firearm access plays a crucial role in mortality rate of suicide attempts.

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