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Reporting of lost/stolen handguns amendment...flaw?

Discussion in 'Pennsylvania Glockers Club' started by emt1581, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    19,885
    2
    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I was watching PCN tonight and saw the mind-numbing debates on the amendment that requires handgun owners to report lost/stolen firearms within 72 hrs.

    Now during the debate/interrogation, one of the republicans brought up a few good points. These points have made me go from supporting the ammendment to making me think it's a useless weapon to combat straw purchase(r)s.

    1) If the gun is illegally passed on/sold from a straw seller to a buyer, the handgun is neither lost nor stolen...so this amendment technically doesn't even apply to penalize either party pertaining to the illegal transaction. In other words, since the gun hasn't been lost or stolen, this amendment doesn't apply.

    2) The amendment focuses on the term "knowingly". My question is, how do you PROVE someone knew something?...other than to record them specifically agreeeing to such a thing?

    What do you think on these points?

    How effective is this amendment at targeting straw sales?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
     
  2. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    2,315
    27
    Mar 1, 2000
    Pennsylvania
    The law applies because the straw purchaser usually declares it was stolen. If so, then he should have reported it.

    They "knew" it was stolen because they said it was stolen.
     


  3. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    I'm curious about this. It sounds good. Gun owner guns get stolen or lost (how do you lose a gun), owner does not report. Signals have been sent at this point have they not?

    Basically it is supposed to stop people from buying a gun (legally) selling it (illegally) and then when it does come back to "haunt" them then they say, "Oh it was stolen".

    If it’s this basic, gun owners like you and me would report our gun(s) stolen. And if we didn't we could or would be in trouble.

    Am I making this too simple? If I am please help me out.

    Thanks and have a great night and weekend!
     
  4. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    2,315
    27
    Mar 1, 2000
    Pennsylvania
    No, you pretty much got it.

    Whoever came up with the law is trying to stem straw purchases. They are assuming that honest gun owners will be reporting their lost or stolen firearms.

    Right now, the illegal purchasers can say, "oh it was stolen" and nothing happens. If the law passes they would be hit with a crime, and presumably prevented from buying any more firearms, thereby ending the straw purchases.

    Of course they could say........"Oh my......you mean my gun was stolen?? I haven't checked on it in a week, month, year, etc. I wonder who took it?"
     
  5. Lee-online

    Lee-online Mul-ti-pass

    859
    11
    Mar 13, 2006
    Susquehanna Valley, PA
    And what will differentiate a straw purchaser and a law abiding gun owner who has so many guns that he truly didn't realize he lost one or one was stolen.
    I think its a usless law that can and will punish the wrong people.
     
  6. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    2,315
    27
    Mar 1, 2000
    Pennsylvania
    I think it would really be easy to investigate and establish the difference between a gun collector like me, who has many guns and doesn't see or touch certain guns for 6 months at a time, and straw purchasers.
     
  7. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    I agree with this. While a law abiding citizen "could" get in trouble, that is not reason for a law at all. Why is it that people who know they don't commit crimes are worried about laws.

    If its that simple then let them try it. They have to try something in Philly. The amount of illegal guns on the street is out of hand. Obviously they come from somewhere. Parenting is not working, where are the the 1000 or so "men" that are supposed to help. I see a big push for Philly police recruitment, maybe this will help. I don't know and none of us have the answers, but something has to be done.

    I know this much, if its a law or not, and find one of my guns missing I will report it immediately.
     
  8. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    There is an article in today's (Sunday) Inquirer about this subject.

    Happy Easter everyone!
     
  9. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

    Like all other toothless "common sense" gun legislation- it's not actually designed to reduce crime, it's a "thin end of the wedge" measure.

    They pass it.
    5 or 10 years down the road they say, "it didn't work like we had hoped. We need something more stringent".
    The "tougher" law gets passed.

    The cycle repeats.
     
  10. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    With the issue of "Straw" purchases how could it not help with crime. Currently anybody that can legally buy a gun can sell it to someone else with no ramifications. If that gun is used in a crime, which most of these are, then the original buys says, " oh it was stolen". If you read the Inquirer article you can see that this is a serious issue. Big deal, now you have to report your stolen or "lost" gun(s). Everyone here is, or should, believe in the law. Why not try to make it harder for criminals to buy guns. This law doesn't say you can buy one or even limit how many you can buy. All it says is report "lost" or stolen guns.

    I love my gun rights, but I too love my driving rights. I think this should be a little more restrictive. As well as, parenting.
     
  11. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

    So I own several guns that I haven't actually laid eyes on in months. To the best of my knowledge, and I have no reason to assume otherwise, they are safely locked up in the safe where I left them.

    Suppose I'm wrong.

    Suppose the day I put them in the safe, a sneak theif took them out, and in the intervening months has committed 5 murders with them.

    The police trace the guns back to me.

    I "should have known" they were stolen monhs ago, therefore am now a criminal for not reporting their theft.

    Bad law.


    Furthermore, I can only assume this law will carry a far less stiff penalty than a straw sale would, right? So if the city is gonna prosecute someone, they're gonna want to prosecute him for the straw sale, and not the falure to report a theft- and the two are mutually exclusive. IE- if he sold the gun to a criminal, the gun was never stolen, therefore he couldn't report it stolen. If they charge him with failure to report a theft, he's off the hook for the straw sale, as the gun was "stolen", not sold.
     
  12. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

    And may I add... There's a range/shop here in town that has been linked to an inordinant amount of weapons purchased through "straw" buyers. I forget the exact number, but it's more than half the guns discovered in the city to have been purchased that way came from one shop.

    It seems to me like keeping a close eye on that business and it's clientelle would be a good way to truncate the problem a bit.
     
  13. BroBrandonB

    BroBrandonB In God We Trust

    247
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    Dec 27, 2005
    Doylestown, PA
    FWIW,

    I'm a fan of AM talk radio, and this morning Micheal Smerconish (1210WPHT) brought this subject up on his show. He even had some NRA spokesperson on to lay it out, and M.S. even disclosed that HE is a Pennsylvania gun owner.

    I called and managed to get thru. For those who don't know, your comments when calling in to talk radio must be brief and to the point, or you get dropped. I managed to say the following for the Philadelphia audience:

    The above is more or less what I said, when I call into shows and can, I try to pre-write out what I have to say while I'm on hold. Makes for better public speaking.

    If I had gotten any additional time, I really wanted to ask if similar laws had been passed in other states where this has had a measured and proven effect on crime?
    I think I know the answer to that one. :cool:
     
  14. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    What if, what if, what if. Blah, blah, blah. What if "I Am Legend" really happens. If we own guns (which we do) you should be responsible for them. This is part of gun ownership. Every night I come home I unlock my 36 chamber a round and put it where I can reach it (no carry permit yet). When I do this I check on my UPS at the same time. Guess if you have more guns it might take you longer, but the is your RESPONSIBILITY.

    I highly doubt if this was a real law that you would be found "guilty" of anything. You might be out of some of your time. Stop worrying about yourself. This is how guns get on the street, plain and simple. Nobody has posted up a viable alternative to help with this epidemic. If you have a better idea then lets here it.

    Playing the what if game, what if you came home and noticed gun(s) missing, what would you do next?
     
  15. BroBrandonB

    BroBrandonB In God We Trust

    247
    0
    Dec 27, 2005
    Doylestown, PA
    spoken like someone who really takes their right to keep and bear arms pretty seriously. :upeyes:


    Of course. But if you legislate gun laws, you should also do so responsibly that means asking the "what-if's" to ensure that innocent law abiding citizens aren't punished down the line by folks who follow strictly the word (and ignore the spirit) of the law. We don't advocate irresponsibility - we just advocate responsibility sans broad legislation.

    How about this for a viable alternative:

    - the city of Philadelphia starts enforcing laws already on the books and pressures the Judicial community to sentence at the maximum end of their capabilities.
    - viable "anti-snitch" policies are implemented by the District Attorney's office to combat the "don't talk to the PO-LEASE" epidemic in Philly. Victims who are called to testify and refuse should be held in contempt of court and jailed themselves. They are a major problem, and result in criminals walking free.
    - on a related note, any retaliation towards victims testifying in court should be treated with the harshest penalties possible. Threatening phone calls, letters, visits, or any attempts or acts of violence should be met with a police crackdown followed by a lengthly incarceration for anybody involved in witness intimidation. Cooperating witnesses should be offered police protection if deemed necessary. The media would do well to make good witness's into hero's... color it as "the good guys fighting back" and more folks will report and combat crime in the city.
    - I would (ballpark) estimate that Pennsylvania would have to build 4 new prisons to accommodate the massive overflow that such a Judicial crackdown would create. That is unfortunate, but how about if we hire Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio and mirror his creation of tent prisons for lower-level offenders. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Arpaio
    There is plenty of space for tent prisons around the 1700+ acres at SCI Graterford, and in the winter time prisoners could attend classes to learn about Valley Forge during the Revolutionary war.

    I know that many will say that this plan is not viable, but I will cut that off by pointing out that everything I outlined has at least loosely been carried out elsewhere in the country with success. If Arizona can do it, so can we. In fact, the only viable solution to Philadelphia's problems is to punish the bad guys, plain and simple. Additional gun legislation won't be enforced any more than the rest of their unenforced laws, what they need is a hard line drawn in the sand.
     
  16. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota

    642
    0
    Mar 14, 2006
    Pittsburgh
    you do not have any "driving rights". there is nothing in the US or state constitutions saying your right to drive will not be infringed or questioned.

    ah, the old "if you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about" fallacy. ask these people how well that worked out:

    wllie geen
    sherman townsend
    manuel hidalgo
    richard jewel
    brandon mayfield
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    or just check out the innocence project.

    as for a better alternative than criminalizing gun owners who don't realize they have had a gun stolen, perhaps try locking violent criminals up and keeping them locked up?

    and...make it a crime to falsely reporting a firearm as lost or stolen (which actually just passed the PA house a week or so ago)...and actually prosecute straw purchasers using the existing laws as well as that one.
     
  17. tat2guy

    tat2guy NRA Life Member Silver Member

    I'm prepared!

    1823, Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA.
    Popcorn vendors and soft drink hawkers peddled their wares, and earned a decent living in Logan Square that day, as a crowd gathered to watch what ended up being the last PUBLIC HANGING in Logan Square.

    It's time to bring them back.

    If nothing else, think of the popcorn vendors, man.
     
  18. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

    2,315
    27
    Mar 1, 2000
    Pennsylvania

    Not true. You can legally buy a firearm, but you can only legally sell it to someone who can legally own the firearm and then it has to be transfered to that person. Which is exactly what straw purchasers are NOT doing.
     
  19. c0boy

    c0boy

    57
    0
    Feb 20, 2008
    Philly
    My opinion




    Yes agreed, but in what way is a reporting lost or stolen guns law irresponsible? There are always going to be innocent and law abiding citizens affected by every law. Its the way are judicial system works. There is give and take to everything. You, I mean We have the right to bear firearms, but the gun crime in Philly (and else where) is skyrocketing. So there is some give and take. It sucks I know.

    Finally, at least we are communicating now. I totally agree. We have a revolving door system which doesnt work. But remember most criminals are really worried about going to jail. Also why not do our best to keep the guns off the streets, BEFORE the gun crime gets committed? I know you will never stop all, but a reduction cant hurt.

    Yes, but step in their shoes. Their family members actually get killed or they do. Its a tough call for some, I do have some simpathy, but not a lot. Good example in my Philly neighborhood, I watched a man parking at an Acme hit a parked car. No one cared, no one looked twice, I was pissed off. He pulled out of that spot and parked somewhere else. I took a pic of his license plate and he must have seen me so he came after me threatening me. I did not back down, that could have been my car, friends family or even one of yours. I could have let it go, it didnt directly affect me and wasn't a major crime, but it was lack of responsibility that got to me.

    Agreed, people need to stand up. This is within the DAs office and police departments roles. Probably involves money, we all know how that works.


    What works there may work here or may not. We at least need to try something. Thanks for the discussion BroBrandonB.
     
  20. BroBrandonB

    BroBrandonB In God We Trust

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    0
    Dec 27, 2005
    Doylestown, PA
    With regards to the "stolen gun registration" my feelings can be expressed best by a recent editorial by State Rep. Paul I. Clymer. He writes,

    Can I just say, "Hoorah!" to that? :patriot:

    No worries! For the first time in a long time, I think two folks on the internet have come to an understanding, if not an agreement. Somebody should be writing about this in wikipedia or something to document the occasion. :supergrin: