Philly wants gun control but can't control its own guns

Philly wants gun control but can't control its own guns
Don Petersen

Philadelphia is one of those cities that keeps electing people who want gun control to local office. The problem is that Pennsylvania is a preemption state, so they can’t actually pass any.


That doesn’t stop local lawmakers from lamenting that fact, especially as they can pretend that preemption absolves them from any responsibility for addressing violent crime.

Yet while they’re complaining about gun control, there’s something that we need to keep in mind. They want to control your guns when they can’t even control those in the city’s possession.

The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office is still missing 76 service weapons, investigators with the City Controller’s Office revealed Wednesday.

The Controller’s office initially released a report in November 2020 on the Sheriff’s Office’s gun inventory and found that 101 service firearms and 109 Protection From Abuse (PFA) weapons were missing.

According to the City Controller’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office stated during the 2024 budget hearing with City Council that all but 20 of their original 101 missing service weapons had been found. The Controller’s Office said they weren’t provided the necessary documentation to support those claims when they did a follow-up investigation, however.

The missing weapons include 71 handguns, four semi-automatic handguns and one shotgun, according to the Controller’s Office.

The Controller’s Office said another review in August 2021 accounted for 16 of the original missing guns. The Sheriff’s Office provided sufficient proof for nine weapons as part of their most recent review, leaving 76 still missing, according to the Controller’s Office.

“There needs to be sufficient identifying information to confirm the disposition of these guns,” Acting City Controller Charles Edacheril said. “This requires documentation to confirm weapons were properly disposed of, such as burned, or located and reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).”


And let me be clear, it’s entirely possible that this is nothing but a paperwork issue where these guns were disposed of properly but the paperwork got lost in some way.

I think that’s unlikely, at least for all of these guns, but I’m trying to be fair here.

Of course, since Philly officials are still trying to claim they need gun control, I think it should be noted that they should start with the sheriff’s office.

And that’s not exactly an insignificant number of missing guns. After all, the media celebrates buybacks that collect about the same number of weapons, even in a city as large as Philadelphia.

Granted, buybacks don’t work, but I think you get the point. If buying back 76 guns is cause for celebration, then clearly losing that many is cause for alarm.

It really is, too, because no one knows where these taxpayer-purchased weapons actually are. They could be anywhere and be used for just about anything.

When you top it off with the same officials who don’t know where the guns they paid for want to control our guns, well, you kind of can’t help but taste the irony in such a position.


For most gun owners in the city, their guns aren’t the problem. They know exactly where they are and that they’re not being used to shoot people.

Philadelphia can’t say as much.

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