Allegheny County Judge Stanton Wettick has tossed out a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association (NRA)against the city of Pittsburgh's lost/stolen gun reporting ordinance. In December, Pittsburgh Council approved and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl allowed the measure to take effect without his signature. The ordinance requires gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 24 hours of discovery that the guns are missing. The law is intended to reduce "straw purchases," where a person who can legally purchase a gun, does so, then sells or gives the weapon to another person who is not permitted to buy a gun. Then when it's discovered that gun was used in a crime, the original buyer claims it was lost or stolen.
Judge Wettick ruled that the NRA and and the individual gun owners lacked standing to bring the suit. Daniel Vice, Senior Attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, argued in court on behalf of the city of Pittsburgh. He said the judge rejected the NRA's argument that the ordinance affects law-abiding gun owners. Vice says law-abiding gun owners report stolen weapons because "they don't want someone shot with a gun stolen from their home."
In June, Commonwealth Court threw out an NRA suit challenging a similar Philadelphia ordinance.
Pittsburgh is 1 0f 8 municipalities in the state with lost/stolen gun reporting laws. Vice says he hopes more towns will follow suit but more importantly that Pennsylvania legislators pass a state law.