For Immediate Release
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.
Pittsburgh Urges Pennsylvania Supreme Court to Throw Out NRA Lawsuit
WASHINGTON - The City of Pittsburgh yesterday urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to
throw out the National Rifle Association’s lawsuit which challenges the
city’s ordinance helping to prevent gun trafficking by requiring the reporting of lost or stolen guns. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence represents Pittsburgh pro bono.
Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, stated,
“We hope the courts will yet again reject the NRA’s efforts to block
this important law which can help police stop gun traffickers. Telling
police when guns have been stolen and may be in the hands of a dangerous
criminal is a common sense step to help make communities in Pittsburgh
Last July, Judge R. Stanton Wettick of the Court of
Common Pleas of Allegheny County threw out the NRA’s case, agreeing with
the Brady Center’s arguments that the NRA and individual gun owners
lacked standing to bring the case. On June 25, 2010, the Commonwealth Court affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the NRA’s case. The NRA is now asking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear the case.
NRA lawsuit challenged Pittsburgh’s ordinance requiring that gun owners
notify police when their gun is lost or stolen, a measure that aids
police and law-abiding gun owners by enabling police to quickly
investigate and retrieve stolen guns. The ordinance also prevents gun
traffickers from falsely claiming that their guns were “stolen” after
guns they illegally sold are recovered at crime scenes and traced back
A similar NRA lawsuit filed against Philadelphia’s lost
or stolen gun reporting ordinance was also rejected by the Court of
Common Pleas of Philadelphia County. The Commonwealth Court affirmed
the dismissal of the NRA’s case against Philadelphia, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected the NRA’s petition for review of that ruling.
guns represent a significant source of trafficked guns, with 500,000
guns stolen from private citizens each year. About one of every six
trafficked guns are stolen from residences. Guns are stolen in
Pennsylvania at a rate of 12 guns per 1,000 households.
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