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11/13/2018 06:02 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 1, 2017 11:58 AM
From: Representative Madeleine Dean
To: All House members
Subject: Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms (Re-Introduction)
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation – former House Bill 1020 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session – to require any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon to report it to law enforcement within 72 hours of the discovery. If a person fails to do so, he or she will be charged with a summary offense.

The Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention, created by the Joint State Government Commission, issued a report in 2013 that agreed that lost or stolen firearms should be reported promptly to law enforcement. The report specifically identified this legislation and stated:

“Although it may appear that requiring lawful gun owners to report losses and thefts to law enforcement places the onus on law-abiding citizens for the acts of criminals, reporting these thefts and losses allows police to more accurately trace how these weapons come to be in illegal hands and hopefully prosecute those who participate in illegal markets, as well as allowing the missing weapon to be returned to its rightful owner when recovered.” [1]

According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, laws that require firearm owners to report lost or stolen firearms serve several law enforcement and public safety functions. These laws help deter gun trafficking and discourage straw purchasing, as well as assist lawful gun owners by facilitating the recovery of their lost or stolen property. In addition, my legislation would make gun owners more accountable for their weapons, and protect gun owners by preventing unwarranted criminal accusations against owners who suffer thefts or losses. Ultimately, these and other measures serve to prevent gun violence.

Furthermore, my bill would allow Pennsylvania to join a growing list of other states such as
Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island to require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation that will assist law enforcement across the state.

[1] Violence Prevention in Pennsylvania: Report of the Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention, December 2013, Joint State Government Committee, Authorized by Senate Resolution 6 of 2013.
http://jsg.legis.state.pa.us/publications.cfm?JSPU_PUBLN_ID=365 (link to report)



Introduced as HB832