In 2012, Jeani Garcia came home from work one day to the worst thing any parent can imagine. She found her 17-year-old son, Kareem, soaked in his own blood and lying dead in his bed. He was shot by local gang members with an illegal firearm that was trafficked into Allentown from a couple in the suburbs. They had trafficked more than 40 firearms over the years.
When police showed up at their home after recovering crime guns that PA’s background check system showed they purchased, they claimed the firearms went missing. It’s a common abuse of a loophole in PA law: gun owners have no legal duty to report their lost and stolen weapons to law enforcement. This allows straw purchasers to evade accountability and continue funneling deadly weapons that wreak havoc on communities. A simple law to require that gun owners report their missing weapons to law enforcement within 72 hours would help close this common loophole and stop a major source of illegal guns that drive community violence in PA.
This is Jeani’s story.