Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro moves to reduce access to ‘ghost guns’
Shapiro announced that the largest gun show promoter in Pennsylvania, Eagle Arms Productions, has halted the sale of partially assembled ghost guns called 80% receiver kits.
In his continuing effort to combat so-called “ghost guns,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on Monday announced that the largest gun show promoter in Pennsylvania has halted the sale of partially assembled guns known as “80% receivers” at its gun shows.
The agreement with Eagle Arms Productions makes the company the first gun show promoter in the nation to stop the sale of these partially assembled guns that don’t have serial numbers and are untraceable by law enforcement.
An “80% receiver” is the frame or skeleton of a gun that is in an incomplete stage of manufacture, but can easily be turned into a functioning firearm.
Shapiro made the announcement at the West Philly Unite mural alongside State Rep. Amen Brown (D., Phila.), who was a key leader in the talks with Eagle Arms, and State Sens. Vincent Hughes and Anthony Williams, both Philadelphia Democrats.
“Eagle Arms has announced that they will no longer allow the sale of 80% receiver kits at all of their gun shows,” Shapiro said. “That is the first time we are aware of in this nation that a gun show operator has partnered with law enforcement to stop the sale of these dangerous 80% receiver kits.”
Eagle Arms hosts gun shows in Morgantown, Berks County, and elsewhere.
Selling and buying the 80% receivers, which can be bought without a background check, is not illegal. But if someone who can’t legally own a gun assembles it into a fully functioning gun or obtains the ghost gun, it is unlawful for that person to have the ghost gun.
Shapiro said ghost guns have become “the weapon of choice for criminals on the streets of Philadelphia.”
So far this year, authorities have recovered more than 80 ghost guns in Philadelphia. Last year, they recovered 250 such guns, up from 99 in 2019, and there were 10,000 illegal ghost guns recovered nationally in 2019.
”Eagle Arms heard the cries of our lawmakers and law enforcement, and most importantly, they heard the cries of concerned families,” Shapiro said.
Monday’s announcement came a week after Shapiro announced the arrests of four Philadelphia men in two separate cases following surveillance operations at last month’s Morgantown Gun Show in Berks County. Three of the men purchased 80% receiver kits at the gun show. They and a fourth man are suspected of illegally making or selling ghost guns in Philadelphia.
In New Jersey, authorities have taken criminal and civil action against such weapons. In 2018, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law legislation that made it illegal to purchase parts to manufacture or distribute information to print ghost guns.