Lancaster officials have set up a legal defense fund to defray costs of fighting a lawsuit the National Rifle Association filed against the city.
The NRA sued Lancaster on Tuesday over its 2009 ordinance requiring residents to tell police if a gun they own is lost or stolen.
The NRA contends the ordinance violates a state law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun control ordinances.
Mayor Rick Gray, flanked by city council members and with the police chief present at a new conference Friday afternoon, accused the NRA of bullying and said the city won’t back down.
Many people have offered to help since learning of the suit, Gray said, prompting creation of the fund, commonsenselancaster.com.
Former mayor Art Morris — a Republican — agreed with Gray that the NRA is bullying cities and became the first donor. He gave a check for $1,000, which Gray said he would MATCH.
Gray said he had no idea how much it will cost to defend the NRA’s suit, but said costs would also be borne by taxpayers. The city’s insurance likely would not cover defending the suit, he said.
“At the same time, we believe that standing by this ordinance is the right thing to do. We are responsible for the safety of those city taxpayers — a responsibility we intend to fulfill,” he said.
The NRA sued Lancaster, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh under a new state law under which gun owners don’t have to show they’ve been hurt by a local ordinance to successfully challenge it.Although I cheer any attempts to combat the bully tactics of the NRA, I've yet to be convinced about the benefits of a law requiring that stolen guns be reported to the police as long as there is no Licensing and Registration.