BELLEVUE, WA – Pennsylvania State House Speaker Bryan D. Cutler has advised a group of gun rights organizations including the Second Amendment Foundation that he is “reviewing all allowable actions at the disposal of the General Assembly” in reaction to a call for an investigation following what appears to have been a violation of various state and federal gun laws in a recent NBC hidden camera report on “ghost guns.”
The undercover report involved NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard and the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in which Hillyard purchased two P80 firearm kits. He subsequently enlisted help from agents with the AG’s office to complete the “80% kits” turning them into fully functional firearms. The finished guns were fired on camera.
Responding to the investigation request, Speaker Cutler said the matter could be referred to the House Government Oversight Committee, or SAF could also pursue action from the U.S. Department of Justice, because it involves alleged violation of federal gun laws.
“At present,” Speaker Cutler wrote, “I am reviewing all allowable actions at the disposal of the General Assembly regarding this issue. Again, I want to thank you for bringing this important issue to my attention.”
“We’re delighted that Speaker Cutler is taking this matter seriously,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “When this apparent ‘sting’ was first brought to our attention, we were stunned that anyone from a responsible news organization would try for such sensationalism. Only a full investigation can determine whether, and to what degree, state and federal laws were violated.”
The NBC report aired on March 17. It was first exposed by Ammoland journalist John Crump, who covers the firearms industry.
“Just because you’re a reporter, you do not enjoy any special privilege to violate the law,” Gottlieb observed. “We’re indebted to Speaker Cutler for outlining the authority, and the limitations, of the House of Representatives when it comes to investigations, and especially for providing other options that are available.
“We certainly intend to pursue this matter, wherever the path takes us,” he said. “This kind of nonsense may look good during a news broadcast, but the glimmer wears off fast if there is a criminal violation that may be prosecuted.”