San Francisco, Giffords Launch Lawsuit Against Three ‘Ghost Gun’ Makers

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is going after “ghost guns.” (Photo: Boudin Facebook)

The city of San Francisco was joined by the anti-gun group Giffords this week in filing a lawsuit against three companies that manufacture and sell 80-percent receivers, pejoratively known as “ghost guns.”

The suit alleges that Blackhawk Manufacturing Group, GS Performance, and MDX Corporation engage in fraudulent business practices and false advertising, and violate the federal Gun Control Act along with California’s gun laws.

San Francisco isn’t alone. The city of Los Angeles, the Biden administration, and Everytown for Gun Safety have all pursued their own separate litigation and rulemaking designed to run other “ghost gun” makers out of business.

“Guns are flooding our streets. Enough is enough. We must take action,” said San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin at a press conference. “Today we take a bold step towards protecting San Franciscans by getting dangerous guns off the streets.”

SEE ALSO: Federal Judge Strikes Down Lawsuit Challenging Nevada’s ‘Ghost Gun’ Ban

Anti-gun groups like Giffords have made “ghost guns” a central agenda item in recent months, and President Joe Biden’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has proposed a new rule specifically outlawing the products.

“They’ve made it possible for anyone in the state to buy all the parts needed to build an untraceable firearm, no questions asked, and get it shipped in a convenient package with tools and instructions, like a piece of IKEA furniture,” said Hannah Shearer, a Giffords attorney, referring to 80-percent receiver manufacturers.

Boudin argues in the lawsuit that the companies “deceive California consumers about the legality of their products” by “misleading consumers into believing that ghost guns are legal.” Those alleged false advertising and fraudulent business practices violate California’s business laws, Boudin claims.

In addition (and in contradiction to ATF guidance on unfinished receivers thus far), Boudin argues that the companies violate the Gun Control Act by failing to stamp serial numbers onto their “firearms” and run background checks on customers.

This assumes, of course, that the products being sold are firearms, which is exactly the point of contention. As the Second Amendment Foundation outlines in this brief, the ATF has historically defined “firearm” in terms of the state of manufacture. If a product has not reached a certain state of manufacture, it is not considered a firearm.

Lawsuits like this one ask the ATF to change its definition. Rather than state of manufacture, they want the ATF to use a far more subjective standard that takes into account how “easily” or “readily” a product can be converted into a firearm.  

Boudin said the companies are “flooding our streets with illegal firearms, with firearms that we know are being used to harm, to maim and to kill.”

Unlike Polymer80, which is a large company currently being sued by the city of Los Angeles, the companies named in the San Francisco lawsuit appear to be relatively small businesses based in California. GunsAmerica reached out to Blackhawk Manufacturing and MDX Corporation but did not immediately receive a response.

SEE ALSO: ATF Proposes Unclear New Rule Banning ‘Ghost Guns,’ Redefining ‘Firearms’

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Eric August 22, 2021, 9:41 am

    I wonder if the manufacturer can sue the county/state and specifically the DA personally for filing a frivolous law suit that is only intended to cost legitimate companies money for legal defense in anticipation of bankrupting them? Make these ass hat DA’s responsible for their illegal action while on the public dole and they may not be so quick to accept the far lefts donations and become lap dogs. Or even better it would run them out of office to be replaced with people that actually respect laws.

  • John August 20, 2021, 9:38 am

    San Francisco has become the lowest grade city in CA if not the nation. Remember that the state’s current governor was the mayor there. Now he is continuing to ruin the rest of the state. He is under recall and in a last ditch effort to stop it he has filed a lawsuit claiming a recall is unconstitutional.
    He held CA businesses in lock down because he thought that allowed him to write his own laws, which he did over 50 of them until some state assembly members sued to stop him because that is illegal, he can only modify a law temporarily. He is an over zealous power hungry tyrant. These people are showing up around the country.

  • Trevor August 20, 2021, 8:05 am

    It’s way past time to round up and publicly hang all the little tyrants and communists

  • Dr Motown August 20, 2021, 7:23 am

    Attacking the small company that doesn’t have the deep pockets for a prolonged legal defense. How brave of the DA and Giffords🙄

  • Glenn Roland August 20, 2021, 6:34 am

    From a City that allows Vagrants to Deficate in the Streets and Leave their Used Syringes in the Gutter LEGALLY… You gotta be Frickin’ Kidding Me

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