Jonathan Duecke, head of the state attorney general’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control reports that an increasing amount of criminals are acquiring illegal guns in Pennsylvania. He stated in a phone interview that in a gun-friendly state such as Pennsylvania, “the ease of purchasing and carrying weapons for personal use actually makes Pennsylvania ideal for underground gun trafficking into nearby states like New York and Maryland.” He even maintained that acquiring guns in Pennsylvania is easier than buying drugs. Moreover, many criminals are acquiring guns in home invasions and some are even trading guns in return for drugs. The ease of obtaining an illegal gun is also affecting the ease at which children under the age of 18 can acquire weapons. Just recently, three teenagers shot and killed 42-year-old city police academy recruit Tyrone Williams. Duecke also reported that kids as young as 10-years-old are acquiring guns.
Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan, faces another obstacle in convicting those who have obtained a weapon illegally: straw purchasing. Many times, Callihan reports, criminals are using their significant partners to purchase firearms for them. While a special firearms task force responsible for identifying characteristics of a straw purchaser has been created in Philadelphia, tracing illegal guns remains an incredible difficult problem for policemen.