City shouldn’t have to sue for gun safety

City shouldn't have to sue for gun safety

Philadelphia Police Commissioner needs the state Legislature’s help to diminish gun violence in the city. With nearly three months remaining in 2020, six murders Monday in Philadelphia pushed this year’s homicide total, 366, beyond the 2019 total. Almost all of those victims were shot. They’re among 1,615 people who had been shot in the city as of midweek. Almost all of those victims also were or are Pennsylvanians. Yet the state Legislature continues to refuse to help Philadelphia protect the city’s streets. The carnage is, as Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw called it Tuesday: “shameful and sickening.” And there is no single cause of it that easily can be corrected. That does not mean, however, that the government should not address known elements of the problem. One of those is that guns are the weapons of choice for killers. Philadelphia has been trying for decades to get the state Legislature to help diminish gun violence. But conservative legislative majorities consistently have served the cause of gun rights absolutism rather than citizens’ safety. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and more than 20 other local governments adopted ordinances nearly a decade ago, for example, limiting gun purchases to one per month per person and requiring the reporting to police of lost or stolen weapons — neither of which infringed upon legitimate gun ownership and both of which were designed to prevent the distribution of deadly firearms to criminals. Courts upheld the ordinances, finding that gun activists who sued against them lacked standing because they could […]

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