Thursday, January 15, 2015

National Rifle Association Suing Pittsburgh, Philadelphia Over Gun Laws

Let no one accuse the National Rifle Association of being slow on the draw: It is suing Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster, just days after a new state law allowed it to challenge local gun ordinances in court.
“These municipalities have known for years that their ordinances were illegal, but there were no consequences,” said Jonathan Goldstein, a Chester County attorney representing the NRA. “Now it’s about to get expensive.”
While state law has barred local officials from passing their own gun laws since 1974, many municipalities have rules that, for example, ban firearms from public property. But last year’s passage of Act 192 gave the NRA new firepower in overturning such measures.
The law, which went into effect Jan. 5, allows any Pennsylvanian eligible to own a gun, or a group with such a person as a member, to challenge any local gun ordinance in the state. If the suit is successful, the municipality must pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.

The complaint filed against Pittsburgh was not available Wednesday, but Mr. Goldstein said it names a handful of ordinances. One prohibits carrying firearms in a vehicle or in person without a state permit to do so. Another prohibits discharging a firearm except at target ranges, or in cases permitted by state law. A third requires gun owners to report the loss or theft of stolen firearms.


  1. You're right, Mikeb--common sense and honesty are coming to some Pennsylvania cities--much to those cities' chagrin.

  2. Well, giving local governments 40 years to follow state law seems more than fair. I especially like the part where the local government will have to pay legal fees if they lose. Sort of adds an incentive to look at the case more objectively.
    This part is especially entertaining,

    “The NRA are bullies, and they don’t like to be challenged,” said Shira Goodman, executive director of gun-control advocacy group CeaseFirePA. The lawsuit “is a way to punish and strike back.”

    These cities had a whole forty years to comply with state law on their own and they call the NRA bullies for representing their members to make them do the right thing.
    It will be interesting to see what these three cities do. Many of the other noncompliant cities have rescinded their ordinances to avoid potential lawsuits. Especially since according to the article, they've never even charged anyone with violating the ordinances.

    1. It's the state that has it wrong. Someday things will turnaround and common sense will prevail.

    2. It's the state that has it wrong.

      The state isn't the party committing a crime--the cities in question are.

      What have you said about that?

      Either people [and municipal governments] are law-abiding, or they are not. If laws are unconstitutional, they need to be challenged in court and reversed, but in the meantime, law-abiding people [and municipal governments] need to obey them if they want to continue being law-abiding. It's simple.

      It's simple, alright, and the municipal governments are simply wrong.

    3. Fine. The law needs to be changed.

    4. The law needs to be changed.

      Good luck with that ;-).

    5. Whaaaa! Whaaaaa!

      Mike is being a crybaby about a law he doesn't like. At least that's your reaction to me when I voice complaints about I-594.