The establishment media are ignorant about firearms.
This does not prevent them from creating sensationalist hit pieces about guns and the Second Amendment. However, their ignorance does sometimes get reporters into situations where they look foolish, or worse.
While researching a story on so-called ghost guns, NBC investigative journalist Vaughn Hillyard not only broke state and federal gun laws on camera, but he also managed to implicate special agents with the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the crimes.
Hillyard appeared in an NBC News segment last month hyping the dangers of “ghost guns,” the scary name applied to kits that can be assembled into firearms without serial numbers.
Progressives love to give ominous titles to the guns they know so little about — i.e. “assault weapons.”
Hillyard showed off a gun that he said came from a “prepackaged kit” and had been “made into a working firearm in the amount of time it takes to build an Ikea cabinet” — which says a lot about his background.
Using classic media techniques such as hidden cameras, ambush interviews and misleading statistics to gather ammunition for his anti-gun activism, the NBC reporter infiltrated the mysterious (to him) world of a gun show.
The show took place in Pennsylvania, one of the 40 states where such kits are not regulated and are legal. Hillyard lives in New York, where the kits are illegal.
As reported by Ammoland, a website described as a shooting sports news service, this is where the problems began.
The “ghost gun” kit was no Ikea cabinet. Hillyard could not complete the assembly himself. But he had some friends in high places who could help.
Hillyard contacted Shapiro, an anti-gun Democrat who took such an interest in the situation that special agents from the attorney general’s office completed building the firearms for the reporter. On camera.
Ammoland listed the state and federal crimes Hillyard and his NBC team and the agents appeared to commit in the brief video piece.
Not one but two illegal firearms transfers: once when Hillyard gave the kits to the agents, and again when the agents gave Hillyard the completed guns without doing the required background checks.
Building a gun for someone else: illegal.
Transferring a firearm to an out-of-state resident: illegal.
Conspiring to violate Pennsylvania state and federal gun laws: illegal.
Guns rights organizations are demanding these individuals be held accountable for gun law violations just as any other citizen would be.
Should Hillyard face criminal charges?
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Five groups joined together to send a letter to Pennsylvania House Speaker Bryan Cutler requesting an investigation into the attorney general for his role in the incident.
According to a news release from the Second Amendment Foundation, Cutler is taking the situation seriously: The Republican told the gun rights groups he was “reviewing all allowable actions at the disposal of the General Assembly.”
Asked about the allegations, Shapiro’s office said in a statement to The Western Journal, “The Office of Attorney General took custody of the firearm parts in question and at no point during or after the construction of the firearm did anyone outside of an authorized agent have access to them. They remain in OAG custody.”
The Western Journal also reached out to Hillyard for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
As recently as February, New York authorities trailed a New York firefighter to a Pennsylvania gun show and arrested him when he returned home with his purchases.
Why should a member of the media be treated any differently?
Hillyard’s video exposé ended up exposing his own incompetence and sense of entitlement. He appeared to casually break some of the laws he claimed don’t go far enough.
Unfortunately, President Joe Biden shows similar ignorance about our inalienable right to bear arms.