State Watch

Pennsylvania gun show promoter becomes first to ban sales of ‘ghost gun’ kits

A potential buyer tries out a gun which is displayed on an exhibitor's table during the Nation's Gun Show
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A Pennsylvania gun show promoter became the first in the U.S. to ban the sale of kits used to build untraceable “ghost guns,” the state’s attorney general announced Monday.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) said Eagle Arms Productions, the largest gun show promoter in the state, stopped the sale of the kits at its gun shows on Friday.

The do-it-yourself kits are sold without any background checks or serial numbers that law enforcement uses to trace the assembled guns, which can be utilized as “fully functioning firearms.” 

“This decision by Eagle Arms Productions is a positive step toward limiting access to ghost guns by criminals,” Shapiro said. “We also need to remain focused and vigilant to stop the current legal loopholes that allow prohibited purchasers to acquire, assemble and possess these ghost guns.”

Joel Koehler, the owner of the Lehigh County-based gun show, decided to end the sale of ghost guns at his shows after surveillance operations by the Office of Attorney General Gun Violence Task Force resulted in the arrests of four people linked to a ghost gun kit purchase at an Eagle Arms show in Morgantown, according to PennLive.  

One of the operations determined one of the gun kit buyers was in a criminal enterprise that made and sold untraceable guns in Philadelphia, earning $500 for each firearm sold. The other investigation led to the revelation of an illegal gun manufacturing and trafficking operation in Philadelphia, according to Shapiro’s office.

“I want to do the right thing,” Koehler told PennLive. “It’s the right thing. If we can keep them out of the bad guys’ hands, fantastic.”

“It’s a win-win for all of us to keep the streets and playgrounds safer,” he added. “They should be for basketball and sports and for fun, not for bullets flying around by kids that aren’t even old enough to buy firearms.”

Philadelphia authorities have recovered 99 ghost guns in 2019, 250 in 2020 and more than 80 so far this year, Shapiro’s office said, adding 10,000 of these guns were recovered nationwide in 2019. 

Four Democratic senators earlier this month called on President Biden to take executive action to prevent ghost guns from being used on streets.

The White House previously said Biden was “personally committed” to take action against gun violence as he began his administration.

Tags Eagle Arms Productions Firearms ghost guns Gun control gun kits Guns Joe Biden Pennsylvania

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