Delco DA takes hard stance on straw gun purchases

Friday, November 03, 2017 12:12AM
Delco DA takes hard stance on straw gun purchases: Dann Cuellar reports on Action News at 11 p.m., November 2, 2017

CHESTER, Pa. - Recognizing that the city of Chester has an illegal gun problem, authorities continue to go hard after straw gun purchasers under the Brad Fox law.

The latest target is a man who authorities said knew he was buying guns for criminals, but said he was just doing it because he was down on his luck.

"If you are going to give a gun, if you're going to buy that gun or give that gun to a convicted felon, we're going come after you under the Brad Fox law," said Jack Whelan, Delaware County District Attorney.

Whelan's latest target: 46-year-old Kenneth Jackson of the 900 block of MacAdam Street in Chester.

Jackson is accused buying as many as eight guns, stating on government forms that they were for himself, when authorities allege he was buying them for criminals that he knew were prohibited from buying guns-what is known as a straw purchase.

"We've been able to trace the guns and also track them back to aggravated assaults and a homicide case that may be involved with one of these guns," said Whelan.

This year alone there have been 27 homicides in the city of Chester.

Out of those 27 homicides, everyone was a gun killing and every single one of them--I'm going to bet money--that every single one was an illegal gun transfer," said Whelan.

The Brad Fox law mandates a minimum of five years in prison for a straw purchase conviction.

The law takes its name from the Plymouth Township police officer who was killed by Andrew Thomas of Lower Merion.

Thomas was prohibited from owning guns, but paid a Philadelphia man to buy one for him.

Authorities said in this case, Jackson said he did it because he was down on his luck and needed the cash.

"He's making excuses saying, 'Well I needed money, I needed it for food or electricity,'" said Whelan. "There is absolutely no excuse for this. There are public services available to help people that are down and out on their luck."

Kenneth Jackson is currently being held on 10 percent of $500,000 bail.

He faces a minimum of five years for each of the eight guns he allegedly purchased.

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