The city of Pittsburgh has just passed a controversial new law that will require gun owners to report a lost or stolen gun within twenty-four hours of its disappearance. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the law is intended to counteract the problem of straw purchasing, which occurs when people with clean records purchase firearms in order to sell them to criminals.
There is still uncertainty as to whether the law will be enforced however, as many have already questioned whether the measure is even constitutional. "It's a shame that we have a City Council that doesn't know its job or its place in the enactment of law," said Kim Stolfer, chairman of Firearm Owners Against Crime, during an interview with the Tribune-Review.
The law was passed by the Pittsburgh City Council in a 6-1 vote, and was approved without the signature of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who stated that he does not believe the measure will be enforceable. Ravenstahl pointed out that the law might be in violation of the city’s Home Rule Charter and the state Uniform Firearms Act.
If the law is determined to be in violation, it will likely be on the grounds that all matters of gun control legislation are to be decided by the state, and not by the city of Pittsburgh, as was agreed upon by the city and gun rights advocates back in 1995.
Still, with gun crime on the rise in Pittsburgh, Ravenstahl has stated that he "will continue to lobby our friends and representatives in the state government to enact meaningful statewide regulations that would require the reporting of a lost or stolen firearm."
For more on this new legislation, click here.
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