KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, in conjunction with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The lawsuit aims to compel the ATF to revoke a firearm license granted to JA Industries, formerly known as Jimenez Arms.
KCMO filed a lawsuit against the Nevada-based manufacturer last year in connection with a federal gun-trafficking case.
According to the newly filed lawsuit, Jimenez Arms filed for bankruptcy, owing $1.3 million in unpaid taxes and facing multiple lawsuits.
Paul Jimenez, owner of Jimenez Arms, applied for a new Federal Firearms License shortly after filing for bankruptcy with JA Industries. The ATF granted the license within 28 days.
Jimenez effectively continued to operate his business under a new name.
The lawsuit alleges the ATF "conducted a deficient investigation before granting the new license," because Jimenez had violated the Gun Control Act.
"These violations included repeatedly and illegally mailing handguns over state lines to an unlicensed individual who was trafficking guns, permitting a prohibited individual to exercise control over his company through numerous oral agreements (and misrepresenting this fact to ATF) and committing numerous violations of ATF’s recordkeeping requirements," according to the lawsuit.
Former KCFD Capt. James Samuels sold dozen of guns illegally in KCMO, including 57 Jimenez Arms firearms and some weapons that were used in violent crimes. He pleaded guilty last August in federal court.
One of the firearms Samuels sold illegally was later connected to a homicide.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis in Kansas City and so many other cities, and the vast majority of the guns being used are handguns,” KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement. “It is inexcusable that the regulators we rely on to enforce federal gun laws have failed to take action despite the clear evidence that Jimenez Arms contributed to gun trafficking. This effort is about accountability — and it’s also protecting Kansas City residents by addressing an ongoing threat to public safety in our city.”
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.