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Cities Aiming to Overturn State’s Pro-Gun Law


Three Pennsylvania cities are suing to overturn a law signed last month that would potentially strike down all city gun laws.

Gov. Tom Corbett is seen at Dow Chemical's at Dow Chemical's new research-and-development facility, Wednesday, July 31, 2013, in Collegeville, Pa. (AP) Gov. Tom Corbett (AP)

The cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster filed a lawsuit this week against Republican leaders of the state legislature to attempt to stop the law from going into effect.

The state’s Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who lost re-election last week, signed the bill just one week before the election to the strong approval of the National Rifle Association, and other pro-Second Amendment groups.

The bill specifically would prevent local governments from passing gun laws that are more restrictive than the state gun laws. It would also give pro-gun groups standing for lawsuits against local laws.

The cities are arguing in their petition to the Commonwealth Court that under the Pennsylvania constitution, from Article III, Section 3 says, "No bill shall be passed containing more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except a general appropriation bill or a bill codifying of compiling the law or a part thereof."

Thus, the plaintiffs argue it did not legitimately pass the legislature and is not constitutional.

The state law, if it stands, would impact the state’s 30 local governments with ordinances requiring owners to inform police if a handgun is lost or stolen, in order to combat straw purchases. A court determined that the NRA lacked standing when it challenged the constitutionality of the Pittsburgh law.

Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray said gun violence is not “big-city” issue, which is why Lancaster is joining the suit that also includes Democratic state legislators, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“It is a Pennsylvania issue,” Gray said. “We have it in our smaller communities in Pennsylvania.”

(H/T Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

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