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More Threats to Preemption

The Inquirer is running a puff piece on the various cities and towns violating the state preemption statute:

David Kairys, a professor of constitutional law at Temple University, said cases challenging local gun ordinances could have far-reaching implications for home rule in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

He said the state Supreme Court had “gutted home rule” in Philadelphia with decisions such as the 1996 overturning of a ban on assault weapons. But Kairys said communities recognized that crime and safety were local issues and they wanted to make their own decisions about how to protect residents.

“They’re doing their duty, saying in order to have law and order we have to get guns off the street and restore local authority,” Kairys said.

A constitutional law professor at Temple ought to know the cases that support preemption, and understand it’s not about home rule, but the Pennsylvania Constitution.  Here’s what the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said in the matter of preemption:

Because the ownership of firearms is constitutionally protected, its regulation is a matter of statewide concern. The constitution does not provide that the right to bear arms shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth, except Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, where it may be abridged at will, but that it shall not be questioned in any part of the commonwealth. Thus, regulation of firearms is a matter of concern in all of Pennsylvania, not merely in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and the General Assembly, not city councils, is the proper forum for the imposition of such regulation.

I’m sure Professor Kairys would like to pretend the Pennsylvania Constitution does not protect the right to bear arms, but it does.  What about the court’s decision here is “gutting home rule.”  Is Philadelphia not to be part of Pennsylvania?

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