Polymer80 was the largest provider of so-called ghost gun parts in the United States. It was a one-stop shop to get anything and everything you needed to build your own unserialized firearm.
Yet, as of today, the rules changed and they can’t do that.
One might imagine that it would spell the end for Polymer80. Especially after Nevada passed a law earlier this year that was pretty much meant to shut them, in particular, down. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Advocates viewed the Nevada law as a potentially more effective tactic than the patchwork of efforts brought to bear so far.
And it almost worked.
The Legislature passed Assembly Bill 286 on a party-line vote in May 2021. In seven months, when the new law took effect, Polymer80 would be out of the ghost gun kit-making business. At least in Nevada.
But thanks to a strategically chosen court venue in rural Nevada and with the help of the New York law firm Greenspoon Marder, Polymer80 won a decision vacating the section of law that would have halted its ghost gun business. While it is now illegal to assemble or possess a ghost gun in Nevada, it remains legal to possess and transport the components of a ghost gun.
As a result, the parts that some use to evade gun-control laws and others use to pursue their hobby of homemade gunmaking continue to flow from Polymer80 to the rest of the country.
Anti-gun violence advocates say their court defeat in Nevada underlines the weakness of a state-by-state approach to closing the ghost gun loophole. They also noted that the bipartisan federal gun bill signed into law in June in response to a spate of mass shootings does nothing to address the problem of ghost guns.
Of course, the federal rules would, in theory, do more than Nevada’s law ever would. Except it just means Polymer80 is serializing their incomplete receivers and complying with the law.
What the piece above completely fails to note, though is just how rarely these guns are actually used. While they’re being found more often, they’re still only a fraction of a percentage of the firearms used in violent crime.
With the new rules in place, Polymer80 is basically no different than a company building firearms, which means their guns will still turn up at crime scenes–just like Glock, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, and every other firearm manufacturer out there. Criminals aren’t brand loyal, after all. They get what they can get and they don’t get worked up about it.
Polymer80 has been painted like the bad guys for a while now, but as we saw earlier this year, unserialized firearms accounted for a whopping 325 homicides since 2016. That’s total for that entire stretch of time. Even if all of them were from Polymer80–which there’s no reason to believe they were–it’s still clear that the problem of so-called gun violence isn’t really about them or their company.
Not that the media will ever let them off the hook.
Still, they’re going to keep on keeping on, which is a good thing. I hate to see anyone be forced to go the way of Slide Fire.