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State Supreme Court Decision Reinforces Philadelphia's Local Gun Laws

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has put the final kibosh on a law that would have given the National Rifle Association the right to sue towns and cities that try to regulate guns within their borders.

The decision is a victory for Philadelphia and other local governments.

The high court upheld lower court rulings that the legislature violated the state constitution when it tacked the NRA-sought law onto a bill about copper wire theft.

"It's a very good decision."

Assistant City solicitor Richard Feder says Philadelphia was not intimidated when the law was passed two years ago and the NRA quickly sued over the city's requirement that lost or stolen guns be reported, but smaller towns were.

"The threat of attorney's fees was a very real and problematic aspect of the bill and a lot of local governments throughout the Commonwealth repealed their lost and stolen gun ordinances."

Feder says the ruling shores up a law city council passed last week requiring secure gun storage in homes with children.

But NRA attorney Jonathan Goldstein disagrees. He says the laws continue to be illegal, because only the state can regulate guns, but he says the NRA respects and will abide by the Supreme Court decision.


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