Harrisburg is Just the First PA Municipality to Face Lawsuits from the NRA

Jan 15, 2015

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Harrisburg was the first city to face a challenge to its gun laws under a new Pennsylvania law targeting gun measures.

It comes from a gun rights group representing a state police corporal. City officials have been bracing for lawsuits in the wake of Governor Corbett's signing of legislation that allows gun owner groups to challenge local ordinances. 

And now, Pittsburgh faces a lawsuit on its own that has emerged from the National Rifle Association. Patriot News editorial page editor John Micek offers his analysis of the issue.

According to Micek, the community "lost and stolen" ordinances have been challenged by gun-rights advocates in part because they feel the Commonwealth should avoid a “patchwork” approach to gun legislation, wherein gun ordinances vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction -- even neighboring ones.

But at the same time, Micek says that the state supreme court has, in some cases, argued that municipalities should have the right to specify their own gun ordinances.

Responding to the gun advocates’ lawsuits, Micek explains, presents a costly burden for municipalities that may already be facing financial difficulties. He says the result is that the lawsuits amount to “a form of legalized extortion” on the part of the NRA to persuade municipalities to adopt the gun ordinances the organization favors.