Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Commonwealth Court Strikes Down Local Gun Laws

The state Commonwealth Court today struck down the city's attempt to tighten local gun laws, ruling that only the state has the power to enact gun legislation.

Commonwealth Court Strikes Down Local Gun Laws

The state Commonwealth Court today struck down the city's attempt to tighten local gun laws, ruling that only the state has the power to enact gun legislation.

Mayor Nutter last year signed five bills controlling guns in the city into law, despite a 1996 state Supreme Court ruling that only the Commonwealth has the power to control firearms. The National Rifle Association then challenged the move.

Today the Commonwealth Court upheld a Common Pleas decision to strike down two of the five laws, one that restricts gun purchases to one a month and bars people from acting as "straw purchasers" and the other which bans the purchase of semi-automatic weapons that hold clips with more than ten rounds.

Both sides expect that this case will eventually land in the state Supreme Court.

UPDATE, 3:05 pm:  City Councilman Darrell Clarke, the sponsor of the gun legislation struck down by the court today, said he is disappointed but not surprised by the ruling.  Clarke said the city is ready for an appeal to the Supreme Court.  The city, he said, hopes the case will lead that court to reconsider the 1996 ruling.

“We believe that ultimately the Supreme Court of the state of Pennsylvania will determine whether or not we have legal standing as it relates to all of these bills," Clarke said. “I think we hopefully will get a much more favorable response from the Supreme Court.”

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
 Follow Chris on Twitter

Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
 Follow Jenny on Twitter.

Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
 Follow Sean on Twitter

PhillyClout Team
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected