Philly filing lawsuit against "ghost gun" suppliers

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

The shooting in Philadelphia is beyond bizarre at this point. Honestly, everything we see is just…weird.

Now it seems that the firearm used was an unserialized AR-15, a so-called ghost gun. That means city officials are getting their knickers in a twist and are turning to the courts.


They’ve filed a lawsuit against Polymer8 and JSD Supply.

Philadelphia is suing two gun manufacturers for their alleged part in the city’s gun violence crisis.

Mayor Jim Kenney announced the lawsuit Wednesday after Philadelphia police said ghost guns were used in Monday’s mass shooting that killed five and injured two others in the city’s Kingsessing neighborhood — although Kenney said his office had been planning the lawsuits against Polymer80, Inc. and JSD Supply for several weeks.

The companies are among the largest suppliers of ghost guns confiscated in Philadelphia and “perpetuated the gun violence crisis and threatened the public’s right to health and safety,” according to a release from the Mayor’s Office.

Officials say Monday’s mass shooting in Kingsessing underscores the need for action. On Wednesday, police announced the weapons used in the shooting, an AR-15 and a 9mm handgun, were both ghost guns.

“If he would’ve dropped that weapon and got away, we would’ve had no way to trace that weapon back to him,” Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore said.


The problem here is that these aren’t gun manufacturers. Not really.

They produce an item that can be turned into a gun, which is perfectly legal, and so far as I’m aware, they’ve complied with the letter of the law as they apply to the city of Philadelphia.

If that’s the case, then how can they be held responsible for the misuse of so-called ghost guns?

“But they know these are popular with criminals!”

Yeah, but so are traditional guns–by an order of magnitude more popular, based on the numbers I’ve seen–and so long as the manufacturers comply with the law, they’re not responsible for arming bad guys, so why are “ghost gun” companies somehow different?

The answer, of course, is that they’re not.

Kenney claims there’s been a 300 percent increase in these kinds of firearms confiscated from criminals, but that still doesn’t tell us anything. One gun in a given year and three the next is a 300 percent increase, even if it’s not anything of significance.

What’s missing here is context. It’s not until the very end of the article we find that 575 “ghost guns” were recovered in 2022 in Philadelphia. When you realize that’s just a hair more than the total number of homicides they had that same year, and a whole lot more than with pretty much every other category of violent crime, you start to realize these aren’t the problem in Philadelphia.


But why address the real issues when you can blame the boogieman of the gun control side in this day and age? So-called ghost guns aren’t an issue. Yes, they allow people to build guns without going through the paperwork of buying a traditionally built firearm, but homemade guns have been around since before this nation existed.

They need to get a grip.

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