Man sentenced to five years for straw purchasing four handguns and an AK-47

Christian Hall, 24, was today sentenced to five years in prison and two years of probation after pleading guilty May 23 to numerous counts of straw purchasing firearms, according to a release from the District Attorney’s Office.

Between April and August of 2011, Hall falsely identified himself on federal and state purchase forms as the actual buyer of four handguns and an AK-47, then illegally transferred them to criminals in the Olney section of the city.

Hall bought a Glock .357 and a Glock .40 at Frank’s Gun Shop on the 4700 block of Blakiston Street in Holmesburg and handed over the handguns to two men, identified only as Punch and Brandon. The Glock .40 was recovered at the scene of a shooting on Feb. 22, 2012.

Hall similarly misrepresented himself to purchase a Glock .40 at Lock’s Gun Shop on the 6700 block of Rowland Avenue in Mayfair, which he also transferred to Brandon and Punch. At a 2011 Philadelphia National Guard Armory gun show in Byberry, Hall bought an FNH 5.7 caliber pistol and an AK-47 and gave them to Punch, who compensated him $50 for purchasing the latter weapon.

Other than the Glock recovered at the shooting scene, the rest of the guns remain at large on the streets of Philadelphia.

Hall’s trial was attended from representatives of the Frankford Town Watch and CeaseFirePA, who sought to bring attention to the his repeated criminal conduct and the need for his sentence to serve as a strong deterrent to other potential straw purchasers.

Judge Ellen Ceisler evidently listened, handing down a strong sentence despite Hall’s complete lack of any prior criminal record due to what the District Attorney’s Office said was the court’s recognition of the danger Hall posed to the city. “The bloodshed that could result from these weapons is unknown at this point,” Ceisler said. “This kind of crime will not be tolerated.”

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