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Breaking: ATF Issues First Reported Cease and Desist Order to an Online Ghost Gun Kits Seller

May 13, 2022

On Wednesday, Everytown and New York City Mayor and Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair Eric Adams Called on ATF to Shut Down Polymer80, the Nation’s Largest Source of Ghost Guns Used in Crimes; Everytown and New York City’s Letter to ATF Notes JSD Supply’s Illegal Practices

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization, released the following statements after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a cease and desist order to JSD Supply, an online retailer that sells Polymer80 ghost gun kits, for violating the Gun Control Act. The order — the first cease and desist order issued by ATF to an online ghost gun kit seller — notes that JSD Supply was illegally selling complete ghost gun kits without a federal firearms license and without running background checks on purchasers or serializing the firearms. 

“We’re thankful that ATF is stepping up to the plate and taking this ghost gun seller to task for breaking the law and endangering public safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Ghost guns are guns — they look like guns, they shoot like guns, and they kill like guns. ATF should review every ghost gun website to see who else is similarly breaking the law, and it should hold those who illegally sell these deadly weapons accountable.”

“This should serve as a wakeup call to all gun companies that flout our laws in order to flood our streets with untraceable firearms,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We appreciate ATF taking decisive action and encourage it to continue holding accountable bad actors who put profits over public safety.”

The ATF order explains that complete ghost gun building kits are — and have always been — firearms, and those in the business of selling them are subject to the Gun Control Act and its requirements that dealers get a federal firearms license, conduct background checks on purchasers, and only sell serialized weapons. Other sellers, including Indie Guns, continue to offer kits that contain all the parts needed to build Glock-style pistols — without requiring background checks or serial numbers or providing safety devices or warnings, just as JSD Supply did. 

In April, following years of advocacy from Everytown and Moms Demand Action, President Joe Biden announced that ATF finalized a new ghost guns rule, which further confirms that gun-building kits and their core components are subject to the same firearms regulations as fully functional firearms — including the requirements of serialization and background checks when sold by a federal firearms licensee. 

ATF estimates that approximately 45,000 ghost guns have been recovered at crime scenes since 2016, with more than 19,000 ghost guns being recovered in 2021 alone. Local law enforcement agencies are also seeing staggering increases in rates of recovery — rising as much as 100 percent in the last three years in places like San Diego and Los Angeles. For example, the number of untraceable ghost guns recovered by the LAPD saw a leap from 813 recoveries in 2020 to 1,921 recoveries in 2021. Other communities have seen significant ghost gun recoveries, with sharp increases in the past year. In Philadelphia, the police reported recovering 571 ghost guns, compared to 95 in 2019 and 250 in 2020. Public information ties ghost guns to scores of shootings across the country.  Ghost guns are also the weapons of choice for militant right-wing extremists and people who otherwise would not be able to pass a background check. In recent months, the country has also seen an increase of gunfire on school grounds with ghost guns and recoveries of ghost guns on campuses. Schools in Arizona, New Mexico, Maryland, and Kansas have been devastated with these instances of gunfire on school grounds – highlighting a scary trend and another important reason to regulate these guns.

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