BELLEVUE, WA – Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the City Council have defied state statute by enacting several anti-gun measures, essentially “acting like urban vigilantes under color of law,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today.
“How can Mayor Nutter and the council expect anyone else, especially criminals, to obey the law if they don’t live up to the same standard,” SAF founder Alan Gottlieb wondered. “Just because the mayor doesn’t like the fact that the state legislature retains sole authority over gun laws does not give him or the city council any right to essentially set up their own fiefdom. What kind of example does that set? What does it accomplish?”
The Pennsylvania Legislature has reserved the authority to regulate firearms within the state since 1974. That authority was upheld by a 1996 Supreme Court ruling in the Ortiz case.
“The city is earning the nickname ‘Killadelphia’ not because of state preemption,” Gottlieb said, “but because the mayor and city council think punishing law-abiding gun owners will somehow cause criminals to stop killing one another. Does he seriously think limiting legal handgun sales to one a month will prevent drive-by shootings by recidivist gang bangers? Can he honestly believe that penalizing someone for not immediately reporting a stolen firearm will prevent the thief from selling that gun to someone else who uses it in a crime? Where does he get the notion that restricting the rights of honest citizens is going to fix the broken court system that repeatedly returns these thugs to the streets?
“None of these measures has worked anywhere else they’ve been tried,” he noted, “so what makes Nutter think he can perform a miracle now, especially in defiance of state law? Nutter is nuts, and so are the council members who copied these ideas out of the extremist gun control playbook for his rubber stamp signature.
“We will be consulting with local activists about possible legal action, “Gottlieb said. “We just finished successfully suing San Francisco, and our lawsuit against New Orleans officials for their illegal gun confiscation is moving forward. We may soon be in court with Mayor Nutter.”