The horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, which inspired widespread soul searching in the US about gun control, has finally inspired a rare moment of cooperative action on Capitol Hill. Last Saturday, President Joe Biden signed into law a bipartisan bill that is the first gun control measure to be introduced in Congress in nearly thirty years. While the new law takes at least some small steps to address our country’s crisis, it is not nearly enough.
One of the major oversights of this limited bill is its failure to crack down on so-called ghost guns, something addressed by an earlier gun reform bill that passed the House of Representatives but died in the Senate. Ghost guns have become an increasing problem for law enforcement officials across the country. They are virtually untraceable because they do not have serial numbers, and they can be assembled from a kit that anyone can buy without a background check. As a result, they are increasingly becoming the weapon of choice for criminals. Last year more than 20 percent of the guns recovered by law enforcement officials in Los Angeles (nearly 2,000) were ghost guns. Court filings indicate that of those ghost guns, more than 90 percent were manufactured by a single company, Polymer80.
Quinn Emanuel is committed to supporting the effort to curtail the manufacture of these ghost guns through targeted litigation. In one such case, the firm is currently co-counsel with the LA City Attorney and Everytown For Gun Safety in a lawsuit alleging that Polymer80 has violated California’s Unfair Competition Law and created a public nuisance by selling these ghost gun kits in violation of federal and California gun laws. We will support similar efforts whenever the opportunity arises.
The fight to create a safer country for us all continues. In the meantime, we must arm ourselves with knowledge of the law and what paths might be available for us to move forward. To learn more about recent legislation as well as the history and landscape of gun control reform, you can read this excellent memorandum from my Quinn Emanuel colleagues here.