The move comes after an investigation by authorities found that the companies are violating city laws by illegally sending components used to assemble the untraceable firearms to addresses in the five boroughs, two law enforcement officers told CNN.
The lawsuit, which will be filed by the City Law Department, stems from an investigation by the New York City Sheriff’s Office, where they set up an address and ordered parts online to identify which companies were the main culprits, according to one of the law enforcement officers. The official said the companies are violating a law passed by the city council that makes it illegal to receive ghost weapon parts in the city.
The city has scheduled a news conference at 11 a.m. at which NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell, Mayor Eric Adams and other law enforcement officials, including the New York Attorney General, are expected to make the announcement, the officials said.
CNN has contacted the New York Attorney General, the City Law Department and the City Sheriff’s Office for comment.
Along with Adams and law enforcement, the mother of a 16-year-old Bronx girl who was murdered by a suspect with a ghost gun earlier this year is expected to speak at the news conference, an official said.
The growth of ghost weapons, which still make up a small proportion of the total number of weapons in the country, has raised concerns because of the rate at which the problem is growing and because it is nearly impossible to identify the weapons.
The number of untraceable ghost weapons recovered from crime scenes in the city or seized from investigation has increased by about 200% since 2018, when the first such weapons were discovered in the city, an official said.
On June 14, the city recovered 175 ghost weapons, compared to 64 ghost weapons in the same period last year, a second official said. In total, the NYPD recovered 270 ghost weapons last year.