The New Jersey and Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements today applauding Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew Bruck and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for filing charges against individuals involved with trafficking ghost guns — unserialized, untraceable homemade firearms, the building blocks of which can be obtained without a background check — between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The announcement indicated that three people were charged with multiple crimes related to illegally manufacturing, possessing, transporting, and selling firearms between Philadelphia, PA, and Camden, NJ. Police say the individuals sold 15 ghost guns, while an additional 20 ghost guns were recovered by police.
“Gun trafficking allows bad actors to funnel illegal firearms into our state, putting our communities at increased risk of gun violence,” said Cathie McGeehan, a volunteer with the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Attorney General Bruck’s efforts to work alongside neighboring states to respond to this growing problem is an important step toward reducing gun violence and keeping New Jerseyans safe.”
“The growing availability of ghost guns in our state poses a considerable threat to our communities,” said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are thankful to Attorney General Shapiro for his commitment to addressing this threat head-on, and we urge the state legislature to protect Pennsylvanians from gun violence by passing legislation to prohibit these untraceable firearms.”
Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been partners on the PA/NJ Gun Trafficking Initiative since 2020, which has focused on tackling the interstate gun trafficking that has contributed to devastating gun violence rates in both states. Pennsylvania has the opportunity to pass legislation that would comprehensively regulate ghost guns within the state and build upon the important work spearheaded by Attorney General Shapiro to protect Pennsylvanian communities, including:
- HB 414, a bill that would prohibit the manufacturing, sale and possession of undetectable firearms, including 3D-printed firearms;
- SB 413, a bill that would amend Title 18 to ensure 3D-printed firearms are subject to the Uniform Firearm Act and would ensure a 3D-printed firearm is considered a firearm under state law. It also prohibit anyone from printing a firearm without a license from the Federal Government to manufacture firearms;
- and SB 414, a bill that would codify the Attorney General’s legal opinion that an 80 percent receiver is considered a “firearm”, for purposes of the Uniform Firearm Act.
In Philadelphia alone, 99 ghost guns were recovered in 2019, and 250 were recovered in 2020 — an 153 percent increase — and 2021 is on pace to surpass that number. During the first two months of 2021, more than 80 ghost guns were recovered in Philadelphia. By April, nearly 200 ghost guns had been recovered in the city.