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Allentown Passes “Lost and Stolen”

Following on the footsteps of Philadelphia, Allentown City Council passed legislation requiring residents or report stolen firearms to police within a certain period of time or face prosecution.  Preemption is a bedrock principle for maintaining our rights in any meaningful form.  This is a regulation on the possession of firearms, and is thus the exclusive domain of the state Legislature.  It is clearly unconstitutional under Pennsylvania law.  Unfortunately, someone will have to get cited before there can be a challenge.  Allentown isn’t the only one:

Pawlowski met in Reading earlier this month with seven other mayors — including Easton’s Sal Panto Jr. and Bethlehem’s John Callahan — to announce that they were introducing the legislation, which they consider to be least in conflict with current state laws.

Least in conflict?  So they admit it is in conflict then?  Good, then it’s illegal.  You can see how if cracks in the foundation of preemption are allowed to form, pretty soon the whole structure weakens and comes tumbling down.  There is a slippery slope here, and if we allow this stuff to stand, pretty soon you wouldn’t be able to transport a firearm through the Commonwealth without running a very serious risk of arrest and prosecution.

One Response to “Allentown Passes “Lost and Stolen””

  1. teqjack says:

    I just love this bit –
    City officials said the law is aimed at ”straw purchasers,” who buy guns legally and then sell them to felons who can not legally purchase guns. When these guns are used in a crime, they are traced back to their legal owners, who tell police they were lost or stolen.

    Aren’t “straw” purchases against the law already?

    And that 24-hour thing. Has it not often been pointed out that if it is not “from the time loss is discovered” there are “unintended” consequences? (LEO your gun was found two days ago and not reported stolen so either you’re involved or you broke the law anyway by not reporting – POORSCHMUCK but officer, as you can see I am just getting out of the airport cab, I’ve been away for two weeks)

    But if it is from time of discovery, then “By golly, you’re right, my gun is missing! Guess I should have checked this morning! Have you got a theft-report form with you, officer?” renders the whole thing meaningless. OK, more meaningless.

    OTOH, if the same person runs afoul of this more than once then I would suspect a straw purchaser. But go get evidence of that (which I am sure LEO tries to do anyway), don’t presume it with no other evidence.

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