Philadelphia Crapping on Preemption Yet Again

Philadelphia City Hall 2006

They are banning guns in parks and city owned public property. Obviously, this is illegal under Pennsylvania’s preemption law, but since there’s no cost to violating preemption, they routinely do it. Unfortunately, this also shows how little regard Philadelphia has for its police officers, who would be open to civil rights suits for enforcing this ordinance, given that preemption is well-established in the Courts. Any officer enforcing this law is open to being personally sued, and that suit can reach up the chain of command all the way to Nutter. Pennsylvania has a bill pending that would give teeth to the preemption statute, but so far it hasn’t moved.

30 thoughts on “Philadelphia Crapping on Preemption Yet Again”

  1. What’s the info on the bill — name, etc. — so that we can press our Pa reps to move on it?

  2. If someone is looking for the PA State legislation that Sebastian mentioned giving teeth to the PA Preemption Statue, I think this is the bill he is refering to. Its sponsored by PA Rep Daryl Metcalfe – HB 805:

    And has a nice number of cosponsors too…but there should be more of them:

    Its been sitting in the PA House Judiciary Committee since Feb 25th 2013.

  3. If the police chain of command is vulnerable to suits, wouldn’t those who pass the infringing laws also be vulnerable?

    1. No. People who make laws generally have absolute immunity for making laws. The state legislature would have to provide penalties, which is what the preemption enhancement bill is about.

      1. Therein lies the problem.

        There has to be a penalty for passing illegal laws!

  4. I’m just going to ignore this “law” and continue to carry in Any park I damn well please.

    1. That is generally the way to fight most obnoxious gun laws if/when it comes to that.

    2. My first suggestion upon hearing about this local action by Philadelphia was to organize open carry events at Philly parks in response to it.

      Civil disobedience is best done in large groups.

      1. Take a page out of the “gaybook”. How many years have they been marching, being generally obnoxious, pressuring, defying/refusing to enforce laws, until they finally made inroads? And that’s even for a supposed right that’s nowhere to be found in the constitution.

        Yes. Civil disobedience should definitely be a tactic in the arsenal for 2A folks.

        1. Like I said: civil disobedience is best done in large groups; it’s harder to violently suppress a large group without consequences.

  5. “…but since there’s no cost to violating preemption, they routinely do it.”

    Arguably, since there is no specific penalty for violating title 18 section 6120 then the generic penalty detailed in title 18 section 6119 applies.

    The problem has been finding a prosecutor/DA/AG who agrees with this assessment.

  6. I hope the Philadelphia Police Department has a few solid Oath Keepers in the ranks. I try to remain unbiased when it comes to police officers but it’s hard not fear them as I feel most will enforce anything they are told.

  7. SO happy I left Philadelphia. AND, I will not stop carrying with my LTCF.

    There was an issue where the mayor passed those 5 other laws which is declared a misdermenor crime but Lynn Abrahams would not prosecute.

  8. Last time I renewed my CCW the Sheriff handed out a notice that warned CCW holders about carrying in Phila. Basically it said you have the right under PA law to carry anywhere in the State but since Philly refuses to abide by State law, CCW holders must be extra sneaky when in the city or risk being charged with a crime and having your gun confiscated (for lack of a city permit).

    Phila. couldn’t pay it’s own bills without tax revenue collected Statewide. I think it’s time to cut off the money until Philly complies with State laws.

    Phila. claims that PA needs their city as a tourism magnet. I say Bullcrap. Let them eat their art museums and mass transit system. The State will survive without them, but they can’t survive without the State.

    1. Someone needs to challenge Nutter and Company. There is this thing called the Second Amendment.

  9. This goes back to your previous post about two Americas and my statement that NRA cannot blow off urban areas. Either they or PAFOA needs to step up and start participating in local elections.

      1. Th exact same thing NRA does everywhere else: rate candidates, make political donations and tell people who to vote for.

        And do not try telling that isn’t possible. They most certainly have members there as well as in every other urban Democrat area.

        1. NRA doesn’t rate lawmakers or take members from cities? This is news to me. I think the issue is that in urban centers, we are greatly outvoted. Also, what are the issue dynamics in poor urban and ethnic communities? Do you know? I don’t. I wouldn’t even know where to start. That’s why it would have to come from within.

          About the only rights issue I can see working in those communities is rights abuse by police. How do you tie those into RKBA? Without turning the aforementioned cops against us?

          1. Some districts in Philly went 100% for Obama.

            Even Saddam Hussein didn’t get 100% of the vote.

            Do you think NRA has a chance in any of these areas?

        2. Candidates don’t tend to take pro-gun voters seriously in large urban centers. As a result, it is difficult to get candidates to honestly answer position questionnaires (or even to answer them at all), which in turn makes it difficult to grade candidates.

    1. And what do you work with in those cities? The reps and council members we have from Philly who are pro-gun represent the areas all the cops and firefighters live. They are outvoted in the city as a whole, which is 80% Democratic and who’s Democratic machine is reflexively anti-gun.

      How do you get involved when everyone in the primaries is going to be anti-gun? How do you get a pro-gun movement going within the African-American community? Because that’s what it’s going to take in a city where Blacks are the overwhelmingly dominant bloc of voters.

      That movement is going to have to happen from within, and it’s not going to happen with all the other problems facing those communities. A bunch of suburban white guys, or white guys from the Northeast party of the City, aren’t going to walk into those neighborhood and start organizing voters around RKBA. At best they’d be laughed at. If that movement takes off, it’s going to take off because someone in the Black community takes the idea and runs with it. When that happens, I’m sure NRA will back it, but it’s not a change that’s going to be imposed from the outside. They have to come around to it on their own.

      1. I think Jacob is off-base in his expectations, but I can kinda see where he’s coming from.

        Things like associating themselves closely with Glen Beck and sponsoring a NASCAR race aren’t going to win them a lot of new supporters or get members from new demographics.

        But with that said, what are they supposed to do? Would the NBA or NFL accept them as a sponsor? Will NBC let them start running commercials? Or, as Sebastian indicated, will they be welcoming to a bunch of suburban white guys trying to make a grass roots effort to reach out to them? Hell no.

        It’s a tough nut to crack, but an important one I think. Urbanization and demographic trends do not favor the NRA going forward. If they could figure out some way to make inroads in anti-gun territory, it would be a massive win for our side.

      2. 1. Give the pro-gun people money and do mailings for them.

        2. In primaries where the choice is between passively bad and aggressively bad, tell people to actively go out and vote against the later. I see Democrat pressure groups making primary decisions and there is no reason NRA cannot do the same.

        3. You are making the assumption that either NRA has no members in the AA community and/or if they do they are a bunch of white guys.

        1. It’s not that easy when all of the candidates are aggressively anti-gun and you have an insignificant portion of the electorate willing to vote the way you advocate.

          The first step in urban areas is to create/enlarge a base of support. A lot of that needs to happen before they can have an appreciable influence on elections.

        2. I’d also like to point out that the NRA doesn’t throw a ton of money around. Check this out:

          There a many groups who spend a lot more money on elections than the NRA. Bloomberg himself outspends the NRA. They don’t win elections by giving out money, and even attempting it is a losing strategy.
          Their influence comes from large numbers of motivated members who vote. They simply don’t have that in urban areas. To suggest that they could influence those elections, but just choose not to is silly.

  10. All I can contribute to the above is the suggestion, get a copy of past year’s election results for Philadelphia (I used always to get hardcopies of the “Pennsylvania Manual” from my state reps, but today I guess the data is online, somewhere) and look at the vote spreads. Back when I had reason to care, it would not be unusual for the D to get 13,000 – 14,000 votes, while the R got around 800. (For a representative district.) There was even a time when the Libertarian candidate got more votes than the R. Maybe something like 550 L versus 490 R versus 13,000 D.

    That is not talking just partisanship, nor is it suggesting anything like vote fraud. It is suggesting that urban politics borders on impenetrable unless you’re dialed in to the machine. I doubt abstract issues have much to do with anything.

    I’m just thinking out loud here, so I’ll also throw in some hope: In multi-candidate D primary elections, I have observed that candidates (like Dwight Evans) who try to build a campaign almost entirely on gun control, do not fare very well, though they will be reelected massively to the offices in which they are incumbent. So, maybe something can be accomplished in the rare cases of heavily challenged D primaries.

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