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Pennsylvania Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Sunday, 16 November 2014 02:21 PM

Pennsylvania gun laws have been in the hot seat lately as state legislators and city leaders find themselves at odds.

Gun rights are written into the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Article 1 Section 21 states, “the right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”

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There are many state laws that regulate the right of citizens to bear arms, including the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act, which determines who can own, sell and transfer guns and the penalties for breaking the law.

Some cities believe state laws do not provide enough control over gun, so they have enacted their own codes, which are generally stricter than state laws. In response, the legislature opened up the ability for citizens to sue the cities in which they live. In November, several municipalities filed suit against the state for that legislation.

Here are 5 quotes from both sides of the current debate over Pennsylvania gun laws: 

1. "If we as a city were to be sued by the NRA for enforcing the lost-and-stolen handgun [law], I'd welcome that lawsuit. Because if it saved one life, it's worth the dollars of hiring a few lawyers in order to fight it." — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto during a January 2013 debate. However, Peduto has also told the Pittsburg City News he was likely not going to enforce the law because he believed the city would lose a lawsuit about the law. 

2. "This is just another example of our state Legislature wimping out. We’re just trying to do what we can do to keep these guns out of the hands of felons." — Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. told LehighValleylive.com about the new law which allows cities to be sued over their gun codes.

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3. “This is legislative madness. Under Act 192 it is now riskier for cities to act on matters of unlawful gun possession related to violence than it is to act on a zoning matter.” — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Anthony Nutter told KYW Newsradio.

4. “This is a good bill, the right bill for Pennsylvania, to protect the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding citizens of Pennsylvania. This is about individual rights.” — Pennsylvania state Senator Rich Alloway (R ) Franklin to The Blaze. Alloway sponsored the bill which became a new law allowing groups to sue cities on behalf of individuals. 

5. “Local governments have long been prohibited from passing their own laws or ordinances regarding ownership, possession or transportation of firearms, but a few of them – such as the City of Philadelphia-have adopted their own anyway. It is not reasonable to expect someone traveling across the state’s many municipalities to know what gun laws are in effect in each community…I understand that Philadelphia and some other communities are struggling with a high level of gun related crimes, but adding more laws that criminals will ignore is not the answer.” — Pennsylvania state Rep. Martin Causer (R ) Turtlepoint expressing support for the new law and the reason for passing it to the Potter Leader-Enterprise. 

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Pennsylvania gun laws have been in the hot seat lately as state legislators and city leaders find themselves at odds.
pennsylvania, gun, laws
Sunday, 16 November 2014 02:21 PM
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