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Pennsylvania Top Cop Backs Lost Handgun Reporting

Commissioner supports mayors' effort to get gun trace data to police

Times Leader (Pennsylvania)

30 September 2009

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WILKES-BARRE -- The Pennsylvania State Police commissioner has sent a strongly worded letter of support to the Pennsylvania Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, confirming his support for lost or stolen handgun reporting.

"As commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, I want to thank you for stepping forth and speaking out concerning this important issue, and to pledge my support for your efforts as you advance an agenda for common-sense reforms to reduce access to illegal guns across Pennsylvania," said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Pawlowski.

Pawlowski's letter of support was sent to each of more than 100 mayors in the state mayors' coalition, supporting the mayors' work across the Commonwealth in helping police keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton welcomed Pawlowski's support.

"This shows the top police officer in the Commonwealth is behind this," Leighton said. "It shows we all need to work together to take illegal guns off the streets."

Pawlowski's letter specifically cited the mayors' coalition for its work in making available crucial crime gun trace data to local law enforcement agencies. The letter endorsed the coalition's work in support of lost or stolen handgun reporting -- a common-sense measure to help police reduce trafficking in illegal guns.

"Lost or stolen handgun reporting is a simple reform that does not infringe on the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms," Pawlowski wrote in his letter. "Nine municipalities have already enacted the law within their own borders. The local ordinances are a step in the right direction."

Many mayors in the coalition rely on the state police in their own communities were happy to receive support from the Commissioner.

Pawlowski's letter was received by the mayors just as a nationwide campaign against the coalition was launched by the National Rifle Association. A postcard was mailed to NRA members claiming that Mayors Against Illegal Guns is in fact an "anti-gun" group in disguise, and e-mails have circulated purporting to expose the "real purpose of Mayors Against Illegal Guns." The cards were unsigned and cited no data.

ID: N106

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