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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: December 18, 2020 09:31 AM
From: Representative Benjamin V. Sanchez and Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta
To: All House members
Subject: Reporting Lost or Stolen Firearms

The Advisory Committee on Violence Prevention, created by the Joint State Government Commission, issued a report in 2013 that concluded that lost or stolen firearms should be reported promptly to law enforcement. Specifically, the report concluded:
“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.”

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.

My legislation requires 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, they will be charged with a summary offense. 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 and help curb our current epidemic of gun violence.

Introduced as HB980