With most firearms regulations set by Harrisburg, there had been an element of civil disobedience in the widening movement of Pennsylvania cities and towns that are targeting gun trafficking with local ordinances that require reporting lost or stolen handguns.
Well, not anymore.
The state Supreme Court last week, in effect, approved the legal strategy. By refusing to hear a National Rifle Association challenge of a lower-court ruling, the court upheld Philadelphia's mandate that handgun owners must alert police soon after they discover a weapon missing.
Philadelphia's ordinance - like those approved by Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown, and two dozen other towns - is aimed at reducing the number of weapons purchased legally, then resold, often to criminals. Armed with these laws, police can go after "straw buyers" who claim that handguns were misplaced or stolen.
Even though the local laws infringe on no one's right to own a legal handgun, they've been challenged in court by the NRA. While the NRA won't give an inch, the courts have been more favorable. For now, gun reporting fortunately remains the law in many of the communities suffering most from illegal handguns.
The real import of the ruling, of course, is that it should keep up the pressure on Harrisburg to pass a statewide gun-reporting requirement that would help protect all Pennsylvanians from the scourge of handgun violence.