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Keker, Van Nest & Peters Teams with San Franciso DA's Office and Giffords Law Center in Civil Prosecution Against Ghost Gun Manufacturers and Retailers

Press Release

Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces that the District Attorney’s Office has submitted for filing a civil prosecution action against three corporations that manufacture and distribute ghost guns throughout California. Keker, Van Nest & Peters, LLP and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence are co-counsel in this groundbreaking case.

“Today we directly take on those who are responsible for bringing these dangerous and unregulated weapons into the streets of San Francisco and throughout the state of California,” said District Attorney Boudin. “Ghost guns pose a grave threat to public safety; these untraceable firearms are readily available to children and prohibited persons. We will hold the companies responsible for their manufacture and distribution accountable. Our office is proud to be working with some of the nation’s finest trial lawyers at Keker, Van Nest, and Peters, as well as with some of the leading firearm litigation and regulatory experts in the country at the Giffords Law Center. Together we will confront the severity of the gun violence epidemic at its source.”

“Keker, Van Nest & Peters is proud to be partnering with District Attorney Boudin’s office on this groundbreaking litigation to hold ghost gun manufacturers and retailers accountable,” said John Keker of Keker, Van Nest & Peters. “The defendants manufacture and sell dangerous weapons without verifying consumers’ ages or eligibility to buy guns. These illegal practices allow children and others who cannot lawfully buy weapons to obtain them far too easily. We look forward to our continued partnership with District Attorney Boudin’s office and the Giffords Law Center to prevent gun violence in California.”

“Ghost guns are flooding into communities across California and people are being killed as a result,” said Hannah Shearer, Litigation Director of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “The companies named in our lawsuit are dealing in misinformation and profit directly from this violence. Their illegal business practices include selling ghost gun parts and kits to Californians who haven’t passed background checks. They also fail to disclose to the buyers that anyone who builds a ghost gun faces criminal liability if they fail to obtain a serial number or submit homemade handguns for safety testing. It is time to hold these reckless companies accountable for the deaths, violence, and criminal prosecutions caused by their disregard of federal and state firearm regulations and consumer protection laws.”

Understanding Ghost Guns
The firearms commonly referred to as “ghost guns” are untraceable, fully functional, unregistered guns pre-packaged for assembly by purchasers. Also referred to as Privately Manufactured Firearms (PMFs), they are sold in kits containing the necessary components for the purchaser to assemble at home. Countless YouTube videos and internet sites are available to guide a consumer in finalizing the gun assembly at home. Assembly requires minimal tools and can be completed in under an hour—sometimes significantly less.

Manufacturers and sellers of ghost gun kits and parts do not follow firearm sales regulations. Ghost guns do not come with serial numbers or other methods of tracing the guns or their owners and, as a result, the government is unable to track them or to regulate who has access to these weapons.
The pre-packaged kits supplied by ghost gun manufacturers and retailers allow for easy and fast assembly of fully functional weapons. Using common tools, an officer acting under the direction of the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office was able to assemble the pistol frame of one of the defendant’s ghost guns in 24 minutes and 40 seconds and attach it to a slide assembled in about five minutes. He was then able to fire the gun.

Read the full press release here