(PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS) — Four years ago, City Council passed a law requiring gun owners whose firearms were lost or stolen to report the missing weapons to police within 24 hours or face fines of up to $2,000 and 90 days in jail.

The idea was to thwart “straw purchasers,” people who buy guns legally and then sell or give them to criminals. Police tracing crime guns often hit a dead-end when their legal owners say that their guns were long-lost or stolen.

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