Philadelphia Law Enforcement “Lost” Over 200 Firearms

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posted on December 13, 2020
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As Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney pushes for more gun control, news breaks that the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office can’t account for over 200 firearms that were supposed to be in the agency’s possession.

Acting on a confidential complaint, the Philadelphia City Controller, Rebecca Rhynhart, launched an investigation into firearms potentially missing from the Sheriff’s department.

In her report to current Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, Rhynhart wrote: “In response to a complaint my office received alleging that 15 rifles and shotguns had been missing from the Sheriff’s Office gun inventory since 2016, the Office of the City Controller opened an investigation into all firearms under the purview of the Sheriff’s Office. … The investigation found that 101 service firearms and 109 PFA weapons are missing from the Sheriff’s Office gun inventory. Additionally, the investigation identified several issues with the overall management of the Sheriff’s Office gun inventory, many of which stem from a lack of detailed, written policies and procedures.” (PFA weapons are those, including firearms, that are temporarily relinquished by individuals who are subject to court orders in accordance with the Pennsylvania Protection from Abuse Act.)

In a press conference announcing her findings, Rhynhart noted: “Our investigation did find evidence of, of trading at gun shops with City Sheriff Office guns. Very, very problematic.”

“Philadelphia’s gun control cabal, including Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney, is sure to miss the irony here,” wrote Larry Keane, senior vice resident of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The same people who want to use law enforcement to curb the gun rights of law-abiding citizens and track and confiscate guns can’t even keep track and control of the ones for which they’re responsible.”

Keane noted that Kenney has tried “to illegally enact his own gun control legislation even after Pittsburgh had been rebuked by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court for a similar attempt in 1993 and was again rejected in 2019 by an Alleghany County judge.”

Kenney’s gun-control attempts include a requirement that a citizen must have a permit before he or she can purchase a firearm within the city, and setting limits on how many guns a person can purchase within the city during a certain time period—all illegal under Pennsylvania law, as only the state can mandate such measures, not a city or a municipality.

According to National Review, “On Kenney’s watch, Philadelphia has been plagued with gun violence. The homicide rate is the highest it has been in over a decade; in 2018, the rate increased 11 percent from the previous year. Kenney, and most other liberals advocating gun control, are ignoring the facts: The overwhelming majority of gun-related crimes are committed by people who own guns illegally. Crafting legislation that affects legal owners will have no impact on this.”

While Mayor Kenney pushes for more gun control, and the violence in his city increases, it appears that law-abiding Philadelphians are having a great deal of trouble getting carry permits.

As the Washington Free Beacon recently reported: “Philadelphia residents say the city is forcing them to wait months to apply for gun-carry permits—far beyond the 45-day window required by law—at a time when gun sales are surging in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and widespread rioting. The delays have left some Philadelphians fearing for their safety.”

One such citizen was Jude Joanis, “who applied for a permit shortly after a shooting in his North Philadelphia neighborhood. After the Philadelphia Police Department's gun permit unit reopened at the end of July, he repeatedly called to book an appointment—at one point employing an auto dialer. He said that an officer told him the earliest appointment to apply for a permit was next year—Jan. 11, 2021.”

“Philadelphia just passed 300 total murder victims and has recorded 1,334 shooting victims,” said Joanis. “I want to exercise my right to self-defense.”

She won’t be able to if Mayor Kenney and other gun controllers get their way. Yet, city officials can’t even keep track of the guns they seize.

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