On Tuesday, 37-year-old Erik Lowry, the owner of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms, admitted to committing a number of crimes, including:
- Acquiring and selling firearms without paperwork or background checks
- Selling firearms to convicted felons
- Selling firearms to a mentally incompetent person
- Illegally acquiring a military firearm
Lowry was originally charged by the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in March after an investigation revealed he was breaking numerous federal firearms laws. ATF initially discovered Lowry’s “cash and carry” program, where people could purchase guns and walk away without filling out any paperwork. In total, ATF discovered 27 firearms that were part of this program.
Lowry eventually pleaded to possession of an unregistered weapon, witness tampering and attempting to tamper with evidence.
In 2015, Lowry obtained a Penn Arms Striker 12 shotgun but failed to report it to ATF. Under current federal law, the firearm must be entered into the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record database. Once Lowry had an inkling the ATF was on to him, he contacted the gun’s previous owner to attempt to fabricate the gun’s transfer date, time and acquisition manner.
“As these attempts failed, Lowry contacted the previous Striker 12 owner and created a false story about the date, time and manner of the acquisition which he and the prior owner both provided to ATF,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Lenhardt told the Pittsburg Post-Gazette.
Lowry is facing two years to 36 months in prison. Currently, he is free until sentencing, which is scheduled for October.