On Wednesday, the Delco County (PA) District Attorney charged 23-year-old Erika Kulp from straw purchasing handguns for her boyfriend, a man prohibited from owning firearms due to past mental health issues.
Kulp illegally purchased two handguns, a 9mm Glock 26 with a 50 round drum magazine and a Walther .380 ACP pistol on his behalf.
The police investigation began on July 8 when a police officer discovered the Glock 26 with a 50 round drum during an unrelated investigation. The ATF was called in to work with the Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division to determine the gun’s owner, which was then discovered to be Kulp.
During the investigation, they discovered a domestic violence call was made to the residence back in April in which the two guns were seized the guns for 10 days before they were returned to Kulp.
On August 17, police visited Kulp to interview her regarding the guns. After receiving contradictory statements, Kulp finally admitted to providing false information on government documents (ATF Form 4473, PA SP4-113), as well as using her boyfriend’s money to purchase the firearms.
“Kulp also admitted to providing false information on the ATF and Pennsylvania State forms, on which she falsely stated that she was the actual buyer of the firearm when in fact she was buying it for someone else who could not purchase firearms,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan.
Kulp is facing charges of illegal purchase and transfer of a firearm, tampering with public records and criminal conspiracy.
If convicted, Kulp is facing a minimum five-year sentence in prison for each gun she purchased on her boyfriend’s behalf, or ten years in total.
Straw purchases are far too common, as DA Whelan mentions:
We know that the vast majority of the illegal guns on the streets used for violence and crime are a result of straw purchases. In the case of Erika Kulp, she falsified information for her boyfriend and illegally purchased two potentially dangerous weapons, including one that ended in drug-related crime. If you an individual engages in the illegal exchange of firearms in Delaware County, we will arrest and prosecute them and they are going to spend a substantial amount of time in prison.