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Philly Loses in Commonwealth Court

Now they will have to take it before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania:

The state’s Supreme Court will have to reverse itself on a 12-year-old gun-control decision if Philadelphia is going to adopt and enforce its own gun laws, the chief judge of Commonwealth Court told the city yesterday.

President Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter made her statement during a preliminary hearing on a lawsuit filed by City Council members Darrell L. Clarke and Donna Reed Miller. They want the court to recognize Philadelphia’s authority to enact stricter gun laws regarding gun purchases and ownership.

Leadbetter, however, suggested that Commonwealth Court was just a stop on the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1996 upheld a state law forbidding municipalities from regulating firearms.

Until then, Leadbetter asked, “Aren’t we just a way station?”

If the Supreme Court doesn’t go our way, it’ll be the end of preemption in Pennsylvania.  Every city and town will want exemptions, and many of them will pass restrictive laws.  It’ll be impossible to travel the commonwealth to hunt, shoot, and carry for self-defense without significant legal risk.  I hope the Supreme Court reaffirms the 1996 Ortiz decision, and upholds preemption.

If Miller and Clarke fail in court, Mayor Nutter volunteered to take things into his own hands. At the rally, Nutter said he would sign into law gun-control measures being considered by City Council, then enforce them – even though the state Legislature says it can’t be done.

I anxiously await Attorney General Corbett, who is on the short list for governor, and no doubt needs the help of gun owners, to explain to Mayor Nutter than this will be illegal, and officials enforcing these laws can expect to be prosecuted under our Official Oppression statute.

2 Responses to “Philly Loses in Commonwealth Court”

  1. Carl in Chicago says:

    Sheesh. “Boneheads” is the only word that comes to mind in describing the likes of Clarke, Miller, and Bochetto. Or perhaps “official malfeasance” for spending public resources in fighting to enforce an obviously unconstitutional law (or laws).

    What part of PA Constitution Section 21 do these people NOT understand?

    “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned. ”

    As city councilmembers, I assume that Clarke and Miller swore oaths. Perahsp, something to the effect of :

    “I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of Philadelphia City Council, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of Pennsylvania and of the United States. However, I will defend these constitutions if and only if they can mean whatever the hell I wish them to mean.”

  2. k-romulus says:

    hmm, could I wind up as the 1st out-of-state visitor CCW test case for Nutter?

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