Did NBC News & Pennsylvania AG’s Office Commit Multiple Felonies?

Vaughn Hillyard Josh Shapiro Screengrab JSD Supply NBC News Crimes Video March 2022
NBC Nightly News reporter Vaughn Hillyard & Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, break both federal, state, & local laws on Ghostguns.

OAKS, PENNSYLVANIA –-(Ammoland.com)- Did NBC News and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office break both federal, state, and local laws during their recent NBC Nightly News story on JSD Supply?

Many people in the gun community are asking if any laws were broken after the story ran on the NBC Nightly News. When the hit piece was filmed, the news organization and the Pennsylvania AG’s office appeared to have broken multiple laws to produce their sensationalized hit piece on Americans building guns at home.

Now gun rights advocates are demanding answers.

NBC News did a hidden camera investigation at an Eagle Shows gun show in Oaks, Pennsylvania. Eagle Shows is owned by Jordan Vinroe, who also owns JSD Supply. JSD Supply is one of the country’s largest 80% firearms retailers. Last fall, JSD Supply was banned from the gun shows due to pressure from the AG’s office and others. Vinroe turned around and purchased Eagle Shows and not only let sellers of unfinished firearms back into the show, but he also started holding classes where buyers could learn how to finish their products into fully working Firearms.

An Amateur Hit Job on “Ghost Guns”

Vaughn Hillyard Screengrab JSD Supply and Eagle Shows on NBC News Video March 2022
Vaughn Hillyard Screengrab JSD Supply and Eagle Shows report by NBC News Video March 2022

The NBC reporter, Vaughn Hillyard, entered the Oaks Gun Show with a hidden camera and purchased two P80 kits from JSD Supply. After buying the kits, the NBC news crew ambushed JSD Supply’s Jordan Vinroe outside the show. Ambush interviews are used to catch people off guard and get interviews with subjects you believe wouldn’t grant one through normal channels.

“The NBC interview was not something I was expecting. We do our best to educate the public on their rights to produce their own firearm for their own use,” Vinroe said. “We want to make sure that the tradition of gun making can last for many more generations. News pieces that imply someone else has done the manufacturing for you are something that we do not endorse. For a tradition that is older than our country’s founding, we need the correct and legal information being published.”

NBC selectively edited Vinroe’s 13-minute interview into a clip that ran only for seconds. NBC edited to make it look like Vinroe was comparing homemade firearms to lawn chairs. Vinroe explained that people are allowed to use cash to buy unfinished 80% receivers, and the process is no different from buying any other products.

NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard took the kits to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office and asked them to complete the P80s Pistol for them.

Conveniently for anyone willing to hold them accountable the crack team at NBC Nightly News led by Vaughn Hillyard, documented their crimes on film.

An Ilegal Firearms Transfer

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.  The ATF even raided a company over the kits.

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.

By all appearances, it looks pretty clear that the AG’s office has taken possession of two firearms illegally!

But potential crimes do not end there. AmmoLand News believes that the guns might have been completed in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Ordinance – Chapter 10-2002 of The Philadelphia Code makes it Illegal to “convert an unfinished frame or receiver into a finished firearm.”

The Philadelphia ordinance is in some legal dispute and currently has a stay of enforcement, but the AG’s office supports the rule. Gun Owners of America is currently suing over the draconian regulation.

It’s a Crime to Build Ghost Guns for Others

It is also illegal to complete a so-called “ghost gun” for someone else. Recently the ATF inquired into a build class held by Rob Pincus to make sure no one was completing the guns for anyone else.  The agent informed Pincus that the person building the firearm could not borrow tools or have someone help them complete the frame until it reached the stage where it would be considered a firearm.

A Second Illegal Firearms Transfer

Pennsylvania Statutes § 6111(b)(2) requires a transfer through an FFL and the transferee’s background to be run through PICS (PA equivalent of NICS). After the guns were completed, if the AG’s office returned the firearms to Hillyard, then the AG’s office would be breaking state law.

3rd Federal Crime

Also, if the AG’s office returned the guns to NBC reporter Vaughn Hillyard, an apparent resident of another state, then the AG’s office would be violating State & Federal law by transferring the firearm to an out-of-state resident, and Vaughn Hillyard and the NBC team would be guilty of multiple Federal Felonies and gun crimes.

Gun Owners of America weighed in confirming and identifying these possible crimes:

  • Pennsylvania Statutes: § 6111(b)(2) requires FFL and a PICS (like a NICS check)
    “no seller shall deliver a firearm to the purchaser thereof until the provisions of this section have been
    satisfied, and, when delivered, the firearm shall be securely wrapped and shall be unloaded.” (requires
    FFL and 4473)
  • 18 USC 922(a)(3) It is illegal to sell a handgun to a resident of another state without first
    going through an FFL in the person’s home state.
  • Conspiracy to violate PA firearms laws and federal law

GOA is looking into all legal actions that can be taken to ensure the anti-gun side is held to the same standard as law-abiding gun owners.

As we have seen time and again, when hypocritical blue-check reporters and politically appointed agents of the state break the laws, that the everyday citizen strictly follows, they never have to pay the consequences for their actions.  Gun owners skeptically believe that Hillyard and the PA AG’s office WILL get away with their crimes. What do you think? Should state and federal laws apply to them or will they get a pass?

NBC News, Vaughn Hillyard, the PA AG’s Office, the ATF and the United States Attorney’s office for the Distric of PA, did not return AmmoLand New’s request for comment.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump