by Christian Wade
Connecticut has filed a lawsuit against several gun manufacturers, accusing them of violating state law by selling components that are used to build untraceable ‘ghost’ guns.
The civil lawsuit, announced by Attorney General William Tong Tuesday, targets four out-of-state firearm companies accusing them of violating the state’s consumer protection laws, which carry fines of up to $5,000 per violation.
Tong said the plastic firearms are illegal under federal and state law because they are untraceable, do not have serial numbers, and don’t require background checks.
“Ghost guns are an untraceable menace that exist for one reason — to evade law enforcement and registration,” Tong said in remarks. “If you ship ghost guns into Connecticut, we will find you, stop you, and hold you accountable.”
The lawsuit alleges each company engaged in “unfair and deceptive advertising, marketing and sales” in violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Tong said the companies — Indie Guns of Orlando, FL; Steel Fox Firearms of DeLand, FL; Hell Fire Armory of Wilmington, NC; and AR Industries of Orem, UT – sell firearms and components, including those that allow consumers to “easily assemble handguns, fully functional AR-15 style automatic rifles, and other untraceable illegal guns.”
Tong said the components are shipped without serial numbers direct to consumers, bypassing federal licensed firearms dealers and background checks. He said, during the investigation, the companies mailed gun components without serial numbers to an undercover state investigator.
None of the firearm companies could be reached for comment.
Connecticut is one of about a dozen states, including California and Massachusetts, that regulate the sales and manufacturing of unmarked gun parts.
But the civil lawsuit is sure to face pushback from Second Amendment groups, who are already embroiled in a legal challenge against Connecticut over its tough gun control laws.
One lawsuit is challenging Connecticut’s assault weapons ban, which was approved in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, when a lone gunman killed 20 children and six educators.
Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, wants to tighten the state’s gun control laws even more by closing “loopholes” in the state’s assault weapons ban.
He has proposed to increase the minimum age to buy a firearm to 21, and ban the sale of large-capacity firearm magazines as part of his budget proposal for the next fiscal year.
But Lamont also wants to tighten a 2019 state law that requires “ghost guns” to be registered with the state, to include parts assembled before the restrictions took effect.
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Christian Wade is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “William Tong” by William Tong.