The NRA has plans to sue Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster over new gun laws that recently became effective.
The National Rifle Association is planning on suing the municipalities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster in accordance to a new state law that allows it to challenge local gun ordinances in court.
State law has barred local officials and municipalities from passing gun laws since 1974, but last year’s passing of Act 192 gives organizations like the NRA the power to overturn these measures.
The new law, which became effective on Jan. 5, allows any Pennsylvanian eligible to own a gun or a group to which that person belongs, to challenge state ordinances. If the court rules in favor of the gun owner or organization, the municipality must pay the plaintiff’s legal fees.
Jonathan Goldstein a Chester County attorney representing the NRA told reporters; “These municipalities have known for years that their ordinances were illegal, but there were no consequences. Now it’s about to get expensive.”
Goldstein went on the name the three ordinances the NRA plans to challenge on court. One ordinance prohibits carrying a firearm in a vehicle or in person without a state permit to do so. Another ordinance which forbids discharging a firearm except at target ranges, or in cases permitted by state law, is also begging questioned. And third, an ordinance which requires gun owners to report stolen or lost firearms.
In a recent statement the NRA said, “a patchwork of local gun-control ordinances creates confusion,” for police and citizens.
Act 192 itself is the subject of the legal challenge in Commonwealth Court for Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster.
The NRA lawsuits’ effect is uncertain at the moment as it will be affected by the challenge to the law that made them possible. Bruce Ledewitz, Duquesne University law professor told reporters any judge could hold the NRA case until the validity of Act 192 is discussed in a higher court.
He added a judge could argue since, “the legislature gave people rights against the government, you should allow those rights to be exercised.”