The Law School’s Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic is working with the group Everytown for Gun Safety on a lawsuit filed against the seller of a “ghost gun” that seriously injured a Michigan teenager.

The lawsuit is being filed in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on behalf of Guy Boyd against JSD Supply, an online ghost gun retailer. It seeks to hold JSD Supply accountable for selling a gun-building kit to a teenager who then accidentally shot Boyd in the face. The lawsuit also seeks to hold the shooter accountable.

The lawsuit alleges that in April 2021, on two separate occasions, JSD Supply sold ghost gun kits to a 17-year-old—too young to legally purchase a firearm—without conducting any age verification. Less than one month after receiving his second gun kit from JSD Supply, the teen accidentally shot his then-best friend, Boyd, in the face, causing severe, lifelong injuries. Boyd was also 17 at the time. 

The suit is being filed by Everytown Law, the litigation arm of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund; the Law School’s Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic; and Bloch & White LLP.

“Not once, but twice, JSD Supply chose to prioritize profits over public safety and common sense by selling ghost gun kits to a teenager,” said Len Hong Kamdang, ’03, senior director of litigation strategy and trials at Everytown Law and a Michigan Law graduate. 

“The tragic shooting of Guy Boyd could have been prevented had JSD Supply operated responsibly. Instead, JSD Supply sold a teenager multiple ghost gun kits without even performing a background check or age verification. JSD’s reckless practices are responsible for placing this gun in the shooter’s hands and allowing this tragedy to occur, and this lawsuit is intended to impose accountability.”

3L Chris Bohórquez is one of the student-attorneys working on the case. 

“Working with the Boyd family to address this growing threat to our community is an honor,” he said. “I am excited that the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic has formed this partnership to provide a unique opportunity for student-attorneys to learn how to litigate impact cases of national importance. 

“Gun violence has affected my generation in an unimaginable way, and I am proud to have a small role in working toward a safer future.”

A ghost gun is a do-it-yourself, homemade gun made from easy-to-get building blocks that can be purchased with no background check or age verification and then assembled in less than 30 minutes. 

The Solicitor General of the United States recently told the Supreme Court that between March 2023 and July 2023, law enforcement recovered 13,828 suspected ghost guns and reported them to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Because ghost guns have no serial numbers, ATF is able to trace less than 1 percent of these weapons to their original purchasers. 

Specifically, the complaint alleges that JSD Supply:

  • Sold its ghost gun kits to the shooter without verifying his age in any way.
  • Entrusted the shooter, then a minor, with its highly dangerous ghost gun kits.
  • Knew the dangers and illegality of allowing minors access to guns and ghost gun kits.
  • Deceptively, unfairly, and confusingly marketing its ghost gun kits in a way that induced and allowed the shooter to purchase its ghost gun kits.

The University of Michigan Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic team includes Professor David Santacroce, director of the clinic, and student-attorneys Bohórquez and Ashley Munger, who is also a third-year law student.

Everytown Law is the largest team of litigators in the US working full time on advancing gun violence prevention in the courts. In addition to Kamdang, the Everytown Law team includes another Michigan Law alum, Litigation Fellow Mollie Krent, ’21. 

Banner photo: Student-attorney Ashley Munger speaks at a press conference held at the Law School on Tuesday, March 12. The Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety and the law firm Bloch & White LLP on filing a suit against the seller of a “ghost gun” that was used to injure Michigan teenager Guy Boyd. Pictured at left are Boyd and his family. Pictured at right are other attorneys working on the case, including David Santacroce, far right, director of the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic; student-attorney Chris Bohórquez, second from right; and Len Hong Kamdang, ’03, third from right, the senior director of litigation strategy and trials at Everytown Law and a Michigan Law graduate.