Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell urged Congress yesterday to re-enact a ban on the sale and possession of assault weapons, which criminals sometimes use to kill police, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. “How much blood has to be spilled in the streets of America before we say enough is enough?” asked Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, who is still grieving over the killings of three Pittsburgh officers on April 4. “The use of assault weapons isn’t for sport. It’s only meant for harm.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Ravenstahl also urged Congress to act on the assault weapons ban, which was enacted in 1994 but expired in 2004. Rendell and Ravenstahl also want the state legislature to require handgun owners to report to police, within 72 hours, any weapons that are lost or stolen, as a way of reducing “straw purchasers,” who sell guns to criminals and report them as lost or stolen. The governor wants to permit Pennsylvania cities and towns to enact their own gun control laws. Since 1996 the legislature has given itself the sole authority to pass laws regarding gun sales and possession.