KILLADELPHIA: Court Kills New Gun Laws Dead

cobaingun_1.jpgINQUIRER: Philadelphia officials cannot enact gun laws tougher than Pennsylvania’s law, a state appeals court ruled today in throwing out city ordinances that would have limited gun purchases to one a month and banned assault weapons, among other things. Commonwealth Court dismissed a lawsuit against the Legislature filed by two members of Philadelphia’s City Council, Darrell L. Clarke and Donna Reed Miller. The court cited language in several gun ordinances the council passed last year that the measures cannot take effect unless the Legislature were to let municipalities enact stricter laws. That has not happened. “While we understand the terrible problems gun violence poses for the city and sympathize with its efforts to use its police powers to create a safe environment for its citizens, these practical considerations do not alter the clear pre-emption imposed by the Legislature,” President Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter wrote in the court’s ruling. Leadbetter noted that the state Supreme Court previously upheld the state’s exclusive right to enact gun laws in a 1996 ruling that overturned Philadelphia’s effort to ban assault weapons. A 1974 state law says that only the General Assembly can regulate guns. MORE

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