Philadelphia files court challenge of Pennsylvania’s ban on local gun laws

Philadelphia files court challenge of Pennsylvania's ban on local gun laws

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia city leaders are again filing a court challenge to the state’s prohibition on municipal gun regulations, this time joined by families of gun violence victims in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The city, along with the Ceasefire Pennsylvania Education Fund and 10 family members, filed the lawsuit in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday, asking a judge to find that the state’s Firearms Preemption laws violate Pennsylvanians’ right to life under the state Constitution. The lawsuit seeking to clear the path for stricter municipal firearms regulations comes as a surge in gun violence has sent Philadelphia’s homicide rate to the highest level in more than a decade. "In the absence of sensible gun laws at the state level, Philadelphia cannot be barred from enacting sensible gun laws at the local level," said City Solicitor Marcel Pratt at a Wednesday news conference announcing details of the lawsuit. Pratt said there was clear evidence that the state’s preemption laws endanger low-income communities and communities of color. The city’s homicides surged to at least 366 as of Wednesday, a nearly 47% increase over last year at this time, and shootings were up nearly 57% over last year, city officials said. RELATED: Gun violence in Philadelphia: Town Hall Discussion and Resources The City Council moved more than a year ago to pass legislation that would ban guns from city parks and recreation centers, but the effort stalled at the General Assembly. The council passed a resolution to hire attorneys to sue the state earlier […]

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