Kansas City, Illinois sue ATF over arms manufacturer license

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) – Kansas City and the state of Illinois filed a lawsuit Friday against a federal agency that licensed a gunmaker who was sued last year for sale illegal weapons and went bankrupt.

The lawsuit alleges that the Bureau of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives granted the license to JA Industries, renamed Jimenez Arms, after it repeatedly violated federal gun laws and contributed to the trafficking of weapons to fire. The lawsuit says the company’s cheap firearms are contributing to the increase in violent crime in Kansas City and Chicago.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, a national gun safety advocacy group, joined the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs want the ATF to revoke the license of JA Industries.

“It is inexcusable that the regulators we rely on to enforce federal gun laws have failed to take action despite clear evidence that Jimenez Arms has contributed to arms trafficking,” said the mayor of Kansas City, Quinton Lucas. “This effort is about accountability – and it also protects the residents of Kansas City by addressing a continuing threat to public safety in our city.”

Kansas City and Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund sued Jimenez Arms and several others a year ago, alleging they contributed to the rise in gun violence in the Kansas City area by ignoring evidence that guns were being sold illegally in the area.

Jimenez Arms filed for bankruptcy about a month after the lawsuit was filed. The new lawsuit says owner Paul Jimenez applied for a new license under the name JA Industries and it took ATF less than a month to issue a license. Jimenez is not a defendant in the lawsuit.

Lawsuit Says Jimenez annually manufactures tens of thousands of inexpensive handguns that have appeared at crime scenes in Kansas City and Chicago “at a rate disproportionate to the company’s market share.” .

Alla Lefkowitz, director of affirmative litigation at Everytown Law, said it was a “appalling regulatory failure”.

“With so many red flags on this company in ATF’s own records, it should never have been difficult to allow it to continue selling guns under a new name,” Lefkowitz said in a statement.

The ATF said it “does not comment on pending or pending litigation,” the Kansas City Star reported.

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