House Bill 2011, which was advanced Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee, would give groups like the NRA a tool to challenge any municipal ordinances requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms. Lost-and-stolen laws are intended to close a loophole encouraging illegal straw purchases—“off-the-books gun sales in which a juvenile or felon buys a weapon and, if it’s never recovered by police, the owner of record simply pretends it was lost or stolen.”
An op-ed featured in a Pittsburgh newspaper explains why HB 2011 is a bad idea.
When the NRA challenged Pittsburgh’s lost-and-stolen law in 2008, it lost because the courts ruled it lacked legal standing. That means there was no foundation for claims it was hurt by the ordinance. HB 2011 would change that by giving Pennsylvania residents and gun-rights groups the authority to contest local lost-and-stolen measures. They could also “go after municipalities for attorney fees and court costs, effectively threatening towns that might be considering such legislation.”
HB 2011 represents a threat to Pennsylvanians’ safety and should be voted down. “Lawmakers should be working to protect Pennsylvanians, not to empower groups bent on serving the interests of gun makers,” writes the author.