On October 19th Oxford Borough Council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance requiring that lost or stolen firearms be reported to the police, upon discovery of their absence, according to a press release. Oxford is the first Borough in the Southeastern part of Pennsylvania to enact an ordinance requiring the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.
The ordinance is an amendment to the existing borough code, governing the use of firearms and bows. Under the new ordinance, gun owners will have 72 hours to report a lost or stolen firearm after discovery of the loss or theft. Penalties include fines up to $1,000.00
Mayor Geoffrey Henry, who is one of more than 150 mayors in the Pennsylvania coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, introduced the ordinance. "Most crimes committed involving guns, are committed by people who are not allowed to have them in the first place. If this reform can make it even a little harder for those criminals to get guns - I think it is a success. Lost or stolen is about cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw purchases. To any law abiding gun owner - reporting a lost or stolen firearm to the police is just commonsense."
Chief John Slauch praised the action of Council stating "this is another tool for police to use in slowing down the trafficking of illegal guns."
Last month the State Police Commissioner, Frank Pawlowski, sent a letter, endorsing Lost or Stolen handgun reporting - applauding boroughs that had already taken the decisive step and calling on the General Assembly to take similar action.
Oxford is the 13th in a string of Pennsylvania communities that have passed this commonsense reform in the last year, including: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, Pottsville, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Wilkinsburg, Erie, Homestead, West Homestead, and Clairton. "We are proud to join 12 other cities in passing this reform," said Henry, "but we hope that this is only the beginning. By passing this reform, Oxford Borough is setting an example to be followed by the State Legislature. Lost or stolen handgun reporting is not a Second Amendment issue -- it is a Law Enforcement issue -- and it is time for action in Harrisburg to support communities like ours."