Anarchy In The PA

Remember way back to yesterday, when I wrote about the Driving Equality Policy. I mentioned how it will lead to anarchy and lawlessness. Never mind all that, because a vastly more important ordinance was just overruled by three Commonwealth judges.

The city has a long-standing ordinance stating if you lose your firearm, or if it is stolen, you must report it to the police. The reason for this is obvious. If someone’s firearm is out on the street, and someone uses it to shoot someone, the owner can at least plead his innocence. It’s also handy to know how many lost/stolen guns are on the street, considering we had 562 murders last year.

A Philadelphia ordinance that requires gun owners to tell police when a firearm has been lost or stolen was ruled illegal Monday by a state court, with one of the judges who voted to throw out the law lamenting that their ruling would put people’s lives at risk.

A three-judge Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously against the city law and issued a permanent injunction, saying the state Uniform Firearms Act preempts it. Philadelphia Police had sought a $2,000 fine against a man charged with violating the lost-and-stolen reporting mandate.

This is a devastating ruling. From here on out, we will have no idea how many lost or stolen guns are on the street. Similarly, we will not be able to track straw purchasers; those who buy a gun and pass it off to one of the random thugs. This will also make it more difficult to link a firearm with a shooter. In short, homicides are going to skyrocket.

One of the three Commonwealth Court jurists who ruled against the city ordinance on Monday, Senior Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reconsider that 1996 legal standard and to allow local restrictions “narrowly tailored to local necessities.”

“The overwhelming blight of gun violence occurring in the City of Philadelphia, of which I believe we can take judicial notice, and the policy issues argued by the city in the case before us, call for a recognition that local conditions may well justify more severe restrictions than are necessary statewide,” Leadbetter wrote.

She said it violates the fundamental right to life and liberty when children can’t walk on a street near their homes without the risk of being shot.

Normally, I am not a fan of judges, but Leadbetter makes good points. Overruling an ordinance like this in a Podunk little town wouldn’t be a problem. Overturning an ordinance like this in one of the most violent cities in America? It will result in piles and piles of dead bodies.

15 thoughts on “Anarchy In The PA

  1. Playing Devil’s Advocate here, if there were any teeth to that law, why would government further punish a victim of a crime for not reporting it?

    Disclosure here: I had a firearm stolen from a friend’s car years ago. As soon as I could, I contacted the sheriff’s department and gave them the make, model, serial number, and a description of it. (I’ve been waiting for over forty years for them to recover it for me.) It is just (un)common sense to report any crime, especially a firearm theft. But it shouldn’t be necessary to punish the victim who doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TXNick – I would agree in smaller bergs. When you’re in a city like Philadelphia, where we get close to 600 homicides and a few thousand shootings. It would be nice if we had some idea of how many illegal guns are out there.

    I do think the $2,000 fine is ridiculous and unconstitutional – we don’t fine people for losing their driver’s license – but this jackass mayor has done nothing but put in orders which forces citizens to pony up money for stupid infractions.

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    1. Agreed on both points. The fine should be just enough to encourage reporting stolen/lost firearms, but not ridiculous. But if the firearm is recovered, it should be returned to its rightful owner. Tack a reasonable “processing fee” for its return if necessary, but if the owner wants it back, return it.

      On the rampant crime in the big cities, once a repeat criminal is caught, hold them without bail until they are sentenced. Then hold them until they complete their sentence. Then have them repay their victims for their losses, BY WORKING FOR THE FUNDS.

      If it wasn’t already prohibited, a public flogging would also be appropriate.

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      1. Had a guy call the division yesterday. He shot himself in the hand while playing with his gun. He asked how long it will be until he gets his firearm back. I said “months.” Dude lost his mind, and I reminded him he was the irresponsible douche who shot himself, and probably should never be able to purchase a firearm again.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Why should the police even have possession of his firearm? What crime did he commit? He screwed up and shot himself. Big deal. I’m sure the pain he’s going through is more than enough punishment without having to deal with the police.

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  3. I agree that it should be overturned. For the very simple reason that whatever government touches it screws up beyond belief. Remington settling with the Sandy Hook victim’s families has set the precedent that guns are automatically bad because ‘reasons’ and liability is attached to an inanimate object… The next step is suing a firearm owner because a POS stole their gun and shot somebody. Don’t say it can’t happen, the left (supported by police benevolent associations and other public employee unions) is demonizing the right to bear arms for self defense. I’m trying to feel sorry for you but I can’t reach that far. The truth of the matter is that the Demoncrats and a lot of the Republicans are at war with honest law abiding citizens. If cops want some sympathy you’ll go farther by publicly hanging your union officials that are supporting the POS politicians…
    Nope, nope, nopeity nope… No government needs to know anything about any citizen because government has shown itself to be COMPLETELY untrustworthy.
    BTW, I really love to read your blog. You’re on my daily read list. I just disagree with the whole guns are bad thing… I also don’t believe in parole or probation. Keep the punk locked up until their debt to society is paid in full. Anything else is akin to a bank loaning money to a someone with multiple bankruptcies and delinquent accounts. It’s just a bad idea…

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  4. it’s tragic when the victims are collateral, especially kids. But it’s hard to shed a tear when the victims would have shooters if they’d been just a little faster.. I came out of a city where bangers shot bangers. It was hard not to applaud at times..

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  5. Fred – I don’t think guns are bad, especially for responsible gun owners. I have more than my fair share in the house. Philadelphia’s politicians are the worst of the worst. Almost every member of City Council have been charged with federal indictments. That’s not a joke, and I obviously don’t trust them, or the hierarchy of my department.

    Doc – My assumption is they get boat loads of money for their reelection. Since the first time I ever voted (18), I have never voted for an incumbent judge. The problem in this garbage city is the Democrat morons reelected the Soros D.A. after he earned 562 murders in a year.

    Also, Mrs’ Earp was talking to her bestie the other day. Tennessee is looking like our retirement state, and our neighbors may be following us.

    Digger – My division is almost exclusively black. My division leads the city in shootings and murders. They kill each other over a snide look. I used to care about all the killing when I was in patrol. Now they’re just another number. If they want a self-genocide, who am I to stop them?

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  6. Sorry Wyatt. I agree with the court. Philly passed an unlwful ordinance.

    State law pre-empts ALL local firearm ordinances and that had to be passed because all the bullshit local firearms ordinances passed by anti-gun city councils like Philly made unwitting criminals out of responsible and legal gun owners. Imagine being charged with some “Crime” because you shopped in the wrong store in the town next door carrying a gun? Too bad PA doesn’t allow unlawful local laws like this to be immediately litigated, and the idiots that pass these unlawful laws be PERSONALLY held financially liable for their votes.

    Can you imagine what ridiculous LOCAL laws your brilliant Philly city council would pass to prohibit legal concealed carry? Don’t think your exalted status as licensed police officer would prevent YOUR City Council from doing the same to you. Your city council would be overjoyed to make you nasty police keep any and all your icky guns AT your station house? No carry anywhere, anytime off duty? No home possession because Philly says so, and your are their peon employee. Those sure sound like “Common Sense Gun Laws” to iidiot anti-gunners. After all, no guns, no shootings! Easy!

    Maybe you can get your state legislature to pass a State Law saying residents of Philadelphia must report their lost and stolen guns, or be fined. Maybe Pittsburgh would go in with you? Call it the Shithole City Lost and Stolen Firearms Reporting or Else Law.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. RD – It’s difficult to be exalted when they’re defunding us, but I see your point. The fine was ridiculous, and likely illegal, but Democrats do what they want, especially here. The previous awful mayors would not allow people to open carry or concealed carry inside the city – hilarious because every thug in the hood did – until the PA Supreme Court nixed that bullshit. Sadly, it took them a decade to act on it.

    The entire thing is basically moot anyway, because Harrisburg stopped registering firearms with the counties. The backlog was so bad during the Obama years that they are at least three years behind.

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    1. Just curious, Wyatt… As a Texas resident, licensed to carry concealled, and PA having a reciprical agreement with Texas, could I legally carry in Philly? Just want to know prior to the next Wyattpalooza you’re planning.

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      1. A consent decree was filed, and the gist of it was we cannot stop a person if someone calls and claims they have a gun. A radio call is not enough probable cause – obviously – but the city wanted cops to just shake down people who “looked suspicious.” So I think you’re good with concealed carry, but I would never recommend anyone coming here. It’s the worst city in America.

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