Journalists: They’re just like you and me, only BETTER!
The Second Amendment Foundation is calling for an investigation of possible gun law violations by NBC News and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office while producing and filming an undercover “hidden camera investigation” at a gun show, focusing on sales of so-called “ghost gun” kits.
NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard took his hidden camera into the Oaks, Penn. Eagle Gun Show to purchase two P80 firearm kits from JSD Supply. Those kits, generically called “80 percenters” because they require some finishing work by the buyer, were subsequently taken to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office where they were finished, assembled and actually fired on camera. The report aired on March 17.
“This sort of sensationalism is designed to generate ratings and raise viewer alarms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “However, our alarms were raised because of the possible felonies that may have been committed by the reporter and the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.”
The issue was initially raised by Ammoland journalist John Crump, who frequently writes about the firearms industry. Ammoland is an online publication covering all aspects of firearms news and is one of the most widely-read gun news sites in the U.S. According to Crump’s report, “The news crew transferred two complete ‘readily convertible’ kits out of the parts they purchased separately at the show. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) previously viewed ‘buy, build, shoot’ kits as readily convertible and, therefore, a firearm…If the ATF still keeps to that definition, Hillyard, an out-of-state resident, transferred two ‘readily convertible’ firearms (pistols) kits illegally to the Pennsylvania AG’s employees to complete. There is not an exception in the law for any AG’s ‘special agents,’ which means that the agents must obey all laws.”
“You cannot violate federal gun laws to complain about gun laws and promote a gun control agenda, even as a working journalist,” Gottlieb stated. “We call on the Biden Justice Department to investigate possible violations of federal gun law, same as that agency would investigate any private citizen who had done the same thing. You don’t get a pass simply by working for NBC.”
We here at Freedom’s Lodge think that Mr. Gottlieb is being a bit optimistic. It’s actually quite common for mainstream-media journalists to do things like this or things like it. (Another big one is to try to buy handguns across state lines at gun shows.) It’s extremely rare that they are ever prosecuted for the felonies that they proudly commit on camera and then broadcast to the world. We’d like to issue a challenge to state and federal authorities: Prove that you’re actually interested in enforcing our existing gun laws by treating this reporter the way you’d treat a random YouTuber who did the same thing.
We’ll hold our breath.
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