Mayors try to establish local gun control

Hightower vs. Boston
September 18, 2012
Which States Have the Right to Bear Arms?
November 12, 2012

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is locked in a heated battle in Pennsylvania against the Mayor’s of that states largest cities including Philadelphia. The NRA successfully defeated a statewide law requiring people to report lost or stolen firearms. Mayor’s of the 30 largest municipalities in Pennsylvania decided to push to get local ordinances passed to force the same issue despite the fact that Pennsylvania has a law forbidding local governments from “regulating the lawful ownership, possession or transportation of firearms”. Local DA’s admit that these local ordinances conflict with this state law. The question up for consideration now is, who gets to sue?

The NRA previously filed a lawsuit against the cities that had passed these local ordinances but the state courts ruled that they did not have standing to pursue the claim because no one had been prosecuted and so therefore no one had as yet been harmed. The NRA is now working to get a law passed in the Pennsylvania state legislature that would allow them to file claims challenging the local statutes anyway. This push in Pennsylvania follows the passing of a similar law in Florida in 2011 which would allow for the removal of local officials from office if they pass local gun laws. Kentucky also recently passed a similar state law. According to Richard Feldman a former NRA lobbyist and now the president of the Independent Firearm Owners association in New Hampshire, its an efficient strategy on the part of the NRA. “I’d always rather fight any battle in a state capital than in 15 or 50 county areas,” he said.

Lancaster, PA. Mayor Rick Gray agrees that gun control legislation is better left at the state level but claims that the NRA supported bill would leave cities open to “frivolous” lawsuits that would waste money. His position is supported by the group CeasefirePA and Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns. “This is one of the NRA’s top issues in Pennsylvania,” said Republican Senator Richard Alloway, an NRA member from Hamilton Township in northeastern Pennsylvania, who supports the bill. The Pennsylvania state legislature was due to pick up the measure when they resumed meeting in September. Check back on this blog for further updates…

Leave a Reply