On June 3, Wilkinsburg Council took a stand against illegal handguns when it voted unanimously to pass a law requiring gun owners to report their lost or stolen handguns to the police. Wilkinsburg joins Pittsburgh and a growing group of Pennsylvania communities approving this common sense measure.
Requiring reporting of lost/stolen handguns is a practical tool that helps law enforcement officials identify illegal traffickers and keep handguns out of the hands of criminals. Police organizations across the state support "lost/stolen" and have begged the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass this legislation. More than 70 Pennsylvania mayors have joined the National Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
Although there is a growing, statewide movement with widespread citizen support for "lost and stolen," our state Legislature appears more concerned with pacifying the National Rifle Association than with protecting its citizens and police. Its failure to enact lost/stolen reporting statewide has resulted in numerous Pennsylvania elected officials concluding that we must take action at the local level.
Reporting lost/stolen handguns is not an attack on 2nd Amendment rights. We cannot and will not let the NRA lobby drive the agenda for street safety. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has pledged to defend without charge any municipality that is sued for passing "lost and stolen."
As council members of two communities that have stood up to the NRA and passed "lost/stolen" reporting requirements, we implore other councils in our region to join us and do the right thing. It is a fight we can and must win -- one council, one mayor at a time.
Pittsburgh City Council
Pittsburgh City Councilman
Wilkinsburg Borough Council Vice President