Friday, April 24, 2009

NRA Sues Pittsburgh Over Lost-Stolen Legislation

Pittsburgh's law requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns now faces a legal challenge. The National Rifle Association says the law infringes upon the rights of lawful gun owners, and violates state law. Spokeswoman Vicki Cieplak says it also criminalizes the victims of theft by penalizing them if they miss the law's 24-hour reporting requirement. She says the real problem is a revolving-door legal system and laws already on the books that aren't being enforced.

Several members of the City Council acknowledged when they passed the legislation that it would likely end up in court. A similar law in Philadelphia was struck down in Commonwealth Court and is now on appeal. Council President Doug Shields says the law was passed in Pittsburgh to make a point: that lawmakers here were tired of waiting for action at the state or national level. He also says the lost or stolen legislation does not violate state law, which applies to the "transfer, ownership, transportation or possession" of weapons. Shields also says he thinks the dialogue on gun laws has changed since the shooting deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers April 4th.

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