WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine, president of the National Association of Attorneys General, today joined a White House meeting with seven other state attorneys general to talk about how they can make meaningful progress to help stop gun violence by holding gun manufacturers accountable when they violate state and local laws.
AG Racine helped kick off the conversation by highlighting how the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) used its authority to file suit against Polymer80 – one of the country’s largest ghost gun manufacturers and the company that manufactured the majority of deadly ghost guns recovered in the District. OAG sued under the District’s consumer protection laws alleging Polymer80 misled consumers by illegally advertising and selling ghost guns to District consumers. AG Racine encouraged other attorneys general to use the law creatively and vigorously in their own states to hold gun manufacturers accountable. OAG was the first attorney general office in the country to file such a suit against Polymer80.
“Today’s meeting was an opportunity to reinforce how state attorneys general can take strong action to hold gun manufacturers accountable, just as we’re doing with our lawsuit against a leading ghost gun manufacturer. And I appreciate the White House elevating these efforts," said AG Racine. “The District has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. But the vast majority of guns in the District are brought in from other states with less restrictive laws. Several state attorneys general have filed similar lawsuits to ours, but each of our states doesn’t operate in a silo and we’re impacted by the actions, or lack thereof, of others. We also know that our efforts are an important piece of a much larger effort to combat gun violence and crime, and we need proactive, comprehensive action at the federal and local levels.”
During the meeting, AG Racine also called for action at all levels to help combat gun violence. He said that at a federal level, Congress and the administration could take action to help give state attorneys general more authority to hold gun manufacturers accountable. He has pressed for:
- Congress to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which would allow state attorneys general to use their full range of enforcement powers to hold gun manufacturers responsible for creating a public nuisance.
- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to change the definition of “firearm” and related parts under the Gun Control Act for the first time since 1968. A proposed rule is currently going through the comment period. The change would help close a regulatory loophole that has enabled the proliferation of ghost guns. If approved, it would require retailers to run background checks before selling key ghost gun parts, which can be readily converted to a functioning weapon. It would also require those parts to include a serial number.
- Congress to pass aggressive gun safety reform to help stop the flow of guns into the District and communities across the country by closing loopholes and mandating background checks.
Other attorneys general who participated in the meeting included those from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington. They met with Ambassador Susan Rice, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, White House counsel Dana Remus, and Julie Rodriguez, White House director for intergovernmental affairs.