There’s no more graphic or compelling proof that Pennsylvania lawmakers finally must get serious about gun-trafficking reform than the Sept. 13 murder of suburban Philadelphia police officer Bradley Fox.
The arrest of a Philadelphia man last week on charges that he was the so-called straw buyer who provided nine weapons to the suspect in Fox’s killing — convicted felon Andrew C. Thomas — exposes the true cost of Harrisburg’s refusal to pass even modest gun-control measures.
If not for the National Rifle Association’s iron grip on state lawmakers, the state long ago could have made it a crime when gun owners fail to report a lost or stolen weapon — a common excuse given to authorities when a gun turns up in a crime. That would represent a small step toward discouraging gun purchases on behalf of criminals banned from owning firearms.
The more aggressive response to the young officer’s death — Fox left a 6-month-old daughter and his wife, pregnant with their second child — would be to limit gun buyers to one handgun purchase a month.