More Pittsburgh council members sponsor stolen-gun bill

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Seven Pittsburgh City Council members are now sponsoring legislation requiring that gun owners report any loss or theft of firearms to the police within 24 hours, making its passage likely.

Today, though, council decided not to bring the legislation up for a tentative vote, instead moving to hold a public hearing. Council debated amending the proposed ordinance to make it apply to handguns only, and not rifles, but held off until after the as-yet-unscheduled hearing.

The ordinance would require that anyone whose gun is lost or stolen in the city tell police within 24 hours, or potentially face a $500 fine. Failure to report the loss of a second gun would result in a $1,000 fine with the possibility of 90 days in jail.

It is similar to legislation rejected by the state Legislature, passed in Philadelphia but awaiting a state Supreme Court hearing, passed in Allentown this month, and proposed in Lancaster last week.

The sponsors are Council President Doug Shields and members William Peduto, Bruce Kraus, Darlene Harris, Jim Motznik, Tonya Payne and Dan Deasy.

Councilman Patrick Dowd said he did not sign on because he has "lots of questions" about how it would work.

"I am in favor of this legislation," said Councilman Ricky Burgess. "The only reason I have not yet added my name as a co-sponsor has nothing to do with my passion for the bill. My concern is that this bill may be unenforceable, and may be illegal, really."


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