Police Tail NY Firefighter Across State Lines, Arrest Him for ‘Ghost Gun’ Purchase

A veteran New York firefighter was arrested last month after allegedly buying “ghost gun” parts in Philadelphia then transporting them to New York. Aaron B. Martin, who works for FDNY’s elite Rescue 4 in Queens, was tailed to the gun show by a police surveillance unit. The story was first reported by the New York Post.

On February 13, the veteran firefighter was arrested after attending the “Oaks Extravaganza” gun show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Queens District Attorney’s office.

A police surveillance team tailed Martin across state lines to the gun show. From there, they watched as the firefighter paid in cash for two “Polymer80 firearm receivers” — parts that can be used to make a “ghost gun,” which don’t have serial numbers and can’t be traced. From another vendor at the show, Martin bought two “high-capacity magazines” capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, the New York Post reports. The veteran firefighter also purchased a semiautomatic 12-gauge-shotgun in a case decorated with an American flag pattern.

The surveillance team then followed Martin back to New York via Interstate 95. He was pulled over on the Belt Parkway in Howard Beach and subsequently arrested. Martin reportedly told arresting officers that he attended the gun show and purchased a shotgun, but did not mention the “ghost gun” parts. Police later seized the weapons and parts from Martin’s car, along with brass knuckles, court documents say. The FDNY veteran “does not hold a firearm license or license to deal in firearms or ammunition”, according to The Post.

Martin made $156,539 with overtime last year and also serves as a chief on the Roosevelt, L.I. volunteer fire department. The firefighter was suspended without pay for 28 days following his arrest.

The arrest stems from a statewide effort to crack down on illegal gun sales. New York — which has some of the nation’s most strict gun laws — recently announced the formation of a new interstate gun task force. Formed under the direction of New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the task force coordinates with “law enforcement agencies from 9 northeastern states”, as well as the ATF.