Sanchez, Kenyatta discuss legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Reps. Ben Sanchez, D-Montgomery, and Malcolm Kenyatta, D-Phila., on Monday co-hosted a news conference at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Kenyatta’s 181st Legislative District to urge the General Assembly to vote on legislation about reporting lost or stolen firearms.

We’re standing in the epicenter of the gun violence epidemic. It’s right here in North Philly – my community – where countless lives have been taken by guns, particularly guns that have been lost or stolen only to resurface in the hands of dangerous people,” Kenyatta said. “Today, we’re demanding our state legislature to stop ignoring this critical piece of legislation and to stop putting special interests and petty partisanship over what truly matters – lives.”

Sanchez reintroduced H.B. 1288 in April – it was first introduced as H.B. 1515 by former state Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Montgomery, during the 2013-14 legislative session – to require any owner or other person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of a weapon to report it to law enforcement within 72 hours of the discovery. A failure to do so would result in a summary offense.

Bearing the same language, the bill was reintroduced as H.B. 832 during the 2014-15 legislative session and again in the 2016-17 session.

To date, the bill has been introduced five times.

“This push centers on commonsense legislation that would keep firearms in the hands of responsible owners by making sure any lost or stolen guns are reported to law enforcement,” he said. “Representative Kenyatta and I are calling on the majority party to bring this and other important gun safety bills up for a vote and help better protect Pennsylvanians and end what’s become a national epidemic of deadly violence.”

Kenyatta is among H.B. 1288’s co-sponsors. After it was introduced, the bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on April 25, where it remains.

Kenyatta and Sanchez were joined by community advocates Leslie Callahan, pastor, St. Phillip’s Baptist Church; Charlene Cooper, community member and witness to gun violence; Scott Charles, trauma outreach coordinator, Temple University Hospital; and Radee Hammett, Man Up program.