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Pennsylvania Leads Nation in “Missing” Guns

Pennsylvania gun shops lost track of more than 6,000 guns between 2008 and 2010 — 10 percent of the nation's "missing gun" total, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

48 cities and towns in Pennsylvania have passed ordinances that require reporting lost, missing, or stolen firearms to law enforcement because they are often used in crimes and are untraceable. The National Rifle Association has unsuccessfully challenged such ordinances six times, maintaining that local laws cannot supersede state law, which does not require such reporting.

Max Nachman, Executive Director of CeaseFirePA, says House Bill 1523, with 70 sponsors, would require cities and towns with gun ordinances to pay the costs of challenging such laws. The NRA is the only organization that supports the bill, according to Nachman, while groups that work on behalf of safe communities oppose it: the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities.

House Bill 1523 was introduced by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Butler. Other Western Pennsylvania sponsors include Dom Costa, Harry Readshaw, Joseph Petrarca, Nick Kotik, Ted Harhai, William Kortz, Mike Turzai, Jim Christiana, Eli Evankovich, Randy Vulakovich, Rick Saccone, and Mark Mustio.

A vote is expected soon.