Philly judge continues hearing about lost and stolen guns

A man holding a gun
WIKIMEDIA

Starting in April, a Common Pleas judge will continue with a hearing about the city ordinance that requires gun owners to report stolen or lost guns within 24 hours.

The Philadelphia Tribune reports that a city resident is seeking an injunction to block this ordinance enforcement. Two mothers and three anti-violence organizations are trying to block the injunction.

In Jan., it was reported that the parties trying to block the injunction include: Mothers in Charge, CeaseFirePA, and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network. The two individuals have been reported as Freda Hall, of Lancaster, and Kimberly Burrell, of Philadelphia. Both of the women lost their sons in shootings in which the guns were not purchased by the shooters.

Judge Edward Wright let the anti-violence groups join the suit as a third party, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. All five will be able to testify when the case resumes.

The next hearing is set for April 22.

“The ordinance has been on the books since 2009. They have consistently said through the District Attorney’s office that they cannot enforce the ordinance because it violates state preemption,” Joshua Prince, attorney for Rashad T. Armstrong,( the man seeking the injunction) told The Philadelphia Tribune.

Prince added, “Now, all of a sudden, the city has decided to prosecute Mr. Armstrong for a violation of this ordinance,”

Prince mentioned it was an illegal ordinance. It has been reported that Municipalities in Pennsylvania cannot make stricter gun laws than the state.

The ordinance has penalties and sometimes fines. The fines can cost up to $2,000 per violation, according to The Philadelphia Tribune. This rule was passed in 2008.

DA Krasner said in Jan. 2019 that he could enforce the ordinance to help limit gun sales in the city.

It was reported that in Nov. 2019, Armstrong was the first person Philly sued under the restrictions.

Police have alleged that Armstrong knew his gun was stolen or lost since April 2018 but didn’t report it. The missing gun was found in the possession of a man from Lancaster during a traffic stop.

The Philadelphia Tribune reports that Armstrong filed his motion for the permanent injunction in Dec.

Deputy Managing Director for Criminal Justice Vanessa Garrett Harley testified and said that, “The sooner a gun that is lost or stolen is reported as such, the sooner an investigation into its whereabouts can commence to make sure it is recovered before it can be used to cause harm to somebody else.”

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