Editorial: Why gun laws are a matter of state law

Editorial: Why gun laws are a matter of state law

TribLIVE’s Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. Say the word “gun” and you can instantly divide people. Some want to enact laws and restrictions in hopes of curtailing violent crimes. Some are just as passionate about protecting constitutional rights and protections surrounding gun ownership. It can be hard to find a middle ground anywhere. Pennsylvania is practically ground zero for the debate over the Second Amendment — which was born at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and state Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Squirrel Hill, have been prominent voices on the reform side of things since the 2018 Tree of Life synagogue shooting. Pittsburgh City Council passed its own gun reform ordinances in 2019, which were promptly challenged by opponents. The reason is a Pennsylvania law that makes it illegal for any local government to write gun laws superseding the state’s statutes. Frankel has proposed legislation in Harrisburg to change that. On Thursday, the two met with other community leaders in support of that idea. Whether anyone supports it or not is immaterial. In most cases, it is not the state law that would end up in the way. Making local ordinances changing gun laws from one municipality to the next would make Pennsylvania a mosaic of all-but-unenforceable regulations. When the two dogs really staking these claims are the state’s biggest cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it might not seem that big a problem. Both have […]

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