LOS ANGELES – Two Los Angeles County sheriffs who were badly injured in an ambush last year sued a Nevada company on Monday for making parts for “ghost guns” used in the attack.
The lawsuit accuses Polymer 80 Inc. of recklessly and unlawfully selling an “untraceable home-assembled gun kit” that resulted in the September attack.
It was the latest effort to tackle the proliferation of ghost guns, which are put together from commercial kits or parts purchased online. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives does not consider incomplete kits to be firearms, so buyers do not have to go through the usual background checks, and most states do not require serial numbers for guns.
Law enforcement agencies say weapons are increasing rapidly at crime sites. Los Angeles Police Chief Michelle Moore has said guns now account for a third of all weapons recovered by the LAPD. Federal officials say thousands have been seized in connection with the criminal investigation.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Claudia Apollinar and Emmanuel Pérez-Pérez, who were shot and wounded on September 12 while sitting in their patrol car at a Metro Rail station in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.
The attacker opened fire from the passenger window of the car. Apollinar and Perez-Perez were shot in the head and arms. Neither has been able to return to work, according to the lawsuit.
Deontay Lee Murray was arrested three days after a nine-hour standoff with police in nearby Linwood. He pleaded not guilty to attempt to murder and other charges and could face life in a state prison if convicted.
Investigators said a gun Murray threw through a car window while he was being chased was used to shoot the deputy.
According to the lawsuit, that weapon was made from a Polymer 80 kit, model PF940c.
According to Polymer 80’s website, the kit provided most of the parts for a handgun and was compatible with Glock components.
Authorities said Murray was forbidden from buying or possessing a gun because of previous convictions for narcotics sales and possession, possession of firearms, receiving stolen property, theft and terroristic threats.
The lawsuit argues that Dayton, Nevada-based Polymer 80, which holds a federal firearms license, “purposefully sold its products without markings, making it difficult for law enforcement to locate the firearm.”
“The defendants knew and could have foreseen – but willfully disregarded the risk – that they were manufacturing and contributing to a direct and secondary market for illegal, non-programmed and untraceable guns, knowing that their firearms could be used by criminals. were likely to end up in the hands and were likely to be used for criminal purposes,” the suit argued.
The lawsuit alleges that the company violated both federal and California gun laws.
Emails seeking comment from the company were not immediately returned.
The ATF had issued a search warrant on Polymer 80 last December as it probed whether the company violated gun laws by manufacturing and selling the kits.
However, on its website, the company stated that some of its own kits, including the PF940C, were classified by the ATF as “not falling within the federal definition of gun.”
The lawsuit was filed by Everytown Law, which has sued several other ghost gun parts providers. In February, it joined the City of Los Angeles in suing Polymer 80 for allegedly causing public nuisance and violating the state’s trade code.
The anti-gun violence organization filed a lawsuit last year against a gun parts seller on behalf of a teenage girl who survived the 2019 shooting at Saugus High School in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita. One student, 16-year-old Nathan Berho, opened fire with an unregistered gun, killing two other students and injuring three and shooting himself.
Also last year, the families of those killed and injured in a 2017 shooting in rural California sued the manufacturers and sellers of ghost gun kits. Investigators said shooter Kevin Neal manufactured an unregistered rifle to target an elementary school and randomly shot at homes and motorists in a rural subdivision about 130 miles north of Sacramento. He killed his wife and four others before killing himself.
Robert Jablon. By
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times