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Settlement Ends 'Ghost Gun' Sales, Manufacturing in California
gvw_edward_smith
By Edward Smith
Published 3 weeks ago on
June 5, 2024

California Attorney General Rob Bonta settled with three gun manufacturers, who agreed to end the sale and manufacturing of gun parts without serial numbers in the state. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)

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A legal settlement will end the sale and manufacturing of gun parts in California without serial numbers, a practice that enabled criminals to own unlicensed firearms.

Three gun makers agreed to stop selling untraceable parts under the agreement between those companies and state Attorney General Rob Bonta, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The agreement also includes civil penalties for the three manufacturers — Blackhawk Manufacturing, Glockstore, and MDX Corporation. Blackhawk will pay $500,000, Glockstore $120,000, and MDX $55,000.

“The manufacture and sale of ghost gun kits has created a largely chaotic industry that is a massive threat to public safety,” said Bonta. “As firearm-related deaths and injuries rise, we must look for upstream interventions that get to the crux of the gun violence epidemic. Getting these manufacturers and retailers to keep untraceable ghost guns off the market is a big win for public health and safety in California.”

Ghost Gun Kits Make it Easier for Criminals to Possess Firearms

The number of ghost guns recovered by law enforcement has increased by more than 49,000% from 2015 to 2021, according to the California Department of Justice.

Ghost gun kits typically contain an incomplete frame or receiver. With a little bit of work, guns without a serial number can be assembled, meaning they are untraceable. Ghost gun kits do not require a background check.

The legal complaint, filed in 2021, alleges the three gun makers violated consumer protection laws and federal and state gun laws by selling the kits. The lawsuit also accused the three companies of telling consumers it was legal to own and buy the kits.

California passed Assembly Bill 1621 in 2022, making it illegal to sell  “precursor” parts — the part of the gun registered with the state — without serial numbers. Even though the lawsuit was filed in 2021, plaintiffs alleged the manufacturers violated gun laws.

“This is huge for California and the national fight against ghost guns. These reckless ghost gun sellers were selling ghost gun kits to California consumers who could not lawfully assemble them. Keeping these untraceable guns out of the state will save lives,” said Esther Sanchez-Gomez, litigation director with Giffords Law Center.

 

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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