Chipping away at the NRA hold on Pa.

Requiring owners to report stolem handguns is a key strategy in fighting drug trafficking.


Lancaster recently became the eighth Pennsylvania town to enact its own requirement that owners must report lost or stolen weapons.

Those may be baby steps compared with New Jersey lawmakers' final approval Frdiay of a monthly handgun purchase limit. But Pennsylvania's ordinances are an outgrowth of a smart push by gun-control groups and the national group Mayors Against Illegal Guns and gun-control advocates to move the issue.

Nearly 100 mayors across the state have signed on to support legislation to stem illegal gun sales. The mandate to report missing guns is a tactic to expose traffickers who use networks of legal buyers to acquire weapons.

Mayors, including Mayor Nutter, are the ones who have to live with the weekly carnage due to the easy availability of handguns in so many communities. As Reading Mayor Thomas McMahon told an Inquirer reporter recently, their view on gun deaths is "enough is enough."

With that much resolve from a growing number of local officials, it almost doesn't matter that the court challenges to these local ordinances from the National Rifle Association pose an uphill battle for these laws.

Read more on today's Inquirer Editorial Page