Brown negotiates historic agreement to ban sale of ghost gun kits at Pa. shows
PHILADELPHIA, March 15 – State Rep. Amen Brown, D-Phila., today announced an agreement he negotiated with the state’s largest gun show promoter and the PA Office of Attorney General to ban the sale of ghost gun kits at its shows.
Brown, a first-term lawmaker representing Philadelphia’s 190th Legislative District, joined Attorney General Josh Shapiro at a morning news conference to announce the agreement to halt the sale of 80% receiver kits at Eagle Arms gun shows. Eagle Arms owner credited Brown for leading him to the decision to ban these kits after Brown reached out to him to explain the devastation these kits were doing to the West Philadelphia communities he represents and communities across the city and the state.
Brown said after visiting one of the company’s gun shows and watching how easily it was for individuals to purchase ghost guns and knowing these same types of guns are being used in his district to commit crimes, he recognized that immediate action was needed. Eagle Arms Production holds about 42 gun shows in the state each year.
“It is my job to do everything I can to fight for and protect my community,” Brown said. “It is beyond heartbreaking to see how many lives are being lost and how many families are left in anguish due to senseless gun violence – the impact on my community is grave. The way in which these kits can so easily be purchased by anyone from table vendors who don’t live anywhere near my communities is alarming and sad.
“After watching people leave the show with duffel bags full of these kits, heading straight for Philadelphia, I pulled the needed parties to the table to figure out what can be done today that does not require legislation or policy change, and this agreement is the outcome of bringing people together and working as a collective unit. I applaud Eagle Arms for becoming the first gun show promoter in the nation to stop the sale of these kits turned so easily into deadly weapons.”
Ghost guns typically start as 80% receivers that are sold in kits without background checks. They easily and quickly be put together, lack serial numbers so they cannot be traced, and, once fully assembled, can operate as fully functioning firearms. In Philadelphia, 99 ghost guns were recovered in 2019 and 250 were recovered in 2020. More than 80 have been recovered so far in 2021.
Brown said he is preparing legislation to bring an end to violent crime in the state. He is proposing that any previously convicted felon who is found to be in possession of an illegal firearm would be subject to progressively stronger sentences and a minimum term of incarceration. He is proposing that these interventions be installed for four years before sunsetting to stabilize communities currently roiling in senseless violence.
“While we work with businesses like Eagle Arms to reduce the number of guns coming to our streets, we also must make it known to those committing crime and assembling these guns and murdering innocent people that they will be held accountable for their actions and will not have a fast release,” Brown said. “It is hard to witness what is happening in my community, as well as hear the fear that my constituents have each day. Members of my community are in constant fear of their safety due to the constant violence that is taking place in our neighborhoods.
“Today’s agreement with Eagle Arms proves that if we come together with honest conversation and understanding, we can create much-needed change. It gives me great hope in being able to work with my colleagues and across the aisle as needed to implement legislation that will make our communities safer.”