TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man faces prison prices after he bought greater than a dozen kits to make “ghost,” or untraceable, weapons at a Pennsylvania exhibition, the highest regulation enforcement officers from each states mentioned Friday.
New Jersey appearing Legal professional Normal Andrew Bruck and Pennsylvania Legal professional Normal Josh Shapiro mentioned William Pillus of Lincoln Park, New Jersey, was indicted on 5 prices this week, together with second-degree illegal possession of an assault firearm, third-degree buying firearm elements to fabricate untraceable firearms, third-degree possession of firearm with out a serial quantity, and two counts of fourth-degree possession of a big capability ammunition journal.
His girlfriend was additionally charged with one depend of fourth-degree possession of a large-capacity journal.
Ghost weapons are firearms with out serial numbers that can’t be traced by authorities.
A message searching for remark was left with the lawyer listed as Pillus’ protection lawyer.
The attorneys common billed the arrest as a crackdown on ghost weapons, that are unlawful in New Jersey. A Pennsylvania judge in 2020 put a hold on a state police coverage that known as on retailers to name the state’s background test system and never merely use the net system for gross sales of ghost weapons.
“Our message to gun traffickers is obvious: in the event you convey unlawful firearms into our state, we’ll prosecute you to the fullest extent of the regulation,” Bruck mentioned. “We’re dedicated to shutting down the pipeline of unlawful firearms into New Jersey, particularly the untraceable ‘ghost weapons’ which can be rapidly changing into a favourite of criminals.”
Shapiro, who’s running for governor in Pennsylvania subsequent yr, requested throughout a information convention why Pennsylvania lawmakers haven’t cracked down like New Jersey has.
“This case additionally underscores the necessity for brand new legal guidelines, each on the federal stage and particularly in Pennsylvania, to cease the circulate of ghost weapons into the fingers of individuals seeking to do hurt in our communities,” he mentioned.
Pillus’ case stems from a September go to to an Allentown, Pennsylvania, gun present the place he purchased the 13 handgun kits, in line with officers. Authorities mentioned they tracked him to his Morris County, New Jersey, residence the place in addition they confiscated an AR-15-style rifle with out serial numbers, 13 9-milimeter handgun kits, two 30-round AR-15 magazines, together with handwritten handgun meeting directions and firearm meeting instruments, amongst different issues.
Shapiro credited the cooperative relationship between regulation enforcement in each states for the fees on this case.
New Jersey has tightened its already strict gun legal guidelines below Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who’s working for reelection this yr.
He’s promised more gun safety legislation if reelected. Among the many legal guidelines Murphy signed in his first time period embrace a discount within the dimension of magazines from 15 rounds to 10 rounds, and a measure that made it a criminal offense to move, ship, promote or eliminate ghost weapons within the state.
The indictment comes after a 2020, partnership between the states to halt interstate gun trafficking and clear up gun crimes, referred to as the “PA/NJ Gun Trafficking Initiative.”
It additionally comes simply simply weeks after the governors of four northeastern states — Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — agreed to change gun crime information to be used by regulation enforcement.