Yesterday, Governor Wolf and members of the Pittsburgh City Council held a press conference, joined by anti-gun organizations, including Moms Demand Action and CeaseFirePA, where they proposed new anti-gun ordinances, which they even acknowledged are precluded by state law but undaunted by the illegality of such proposals, were going to enact them anyway, in a hope that the courts would elect to usurp the General Assembly’s authority. Governor Wolf even issued a press release, with the proposal’s attached.
Since 1974, local forms of government have been preempted in Pennsylvania from enacting firearm (and later, ammunition) restrictions or regulation, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6120. Moreover, since its enactment in 1974, it has been a misdemeanor of the first degree, pursuant to 18 PA.C.S. 6119, for any local government to violate the state preemption statute.
In fact, an almost identical assault weapon ordinance was previously held unlawful by the Commonwealth Court in NRA v. City of Philadelphia. More recently, I was successful in having the Commonwealth Court declare that the City of Erie was precluded from banning firearms in public parks and that Lower Merion Township was barred from enacting a firearm discharge ordinance. Thus, there can be no dispute that the enactment of these proposed ordinances have already been ruled unlawful, pursuant to Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution and 18 Pa.C.S. 6120.
Yet, that has not dissuaded the Governor and Members of the Pittsburgh City Council from conspiring to enact unlawful ordinances, which would additionally constitute a violation of 18 PA.C.S. 5301 – Official Oppression, as well as, the inchoate offenses of solicitation, conspiracy and attempt. Section 5301 provides:
A person acting or purporting to act in an official capacity or taking advantage of such actual or purported capacity commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, knowing that his conduct is illegal, he:(1) subjects another to arrest, detention, search, seizure, mistreatment, dispossession, assessment, lien or other infringement of personal or property rights;or(2) denies or impedes another in the exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power or immunity.
Setting aside the criminal conduct of Governor Wolf and Members of the Pittsburgh City Council, it is extremely interesting that Governor Wolf is supporting these proposals, which include requiring photo identification to be produced for the purchase of ammunition, when the Governor opposes voters having to produce any form of photo identification.
Unfortunately, as neither the Governor nor Members of the Pittsburgh City Council seem to care about their blatant violation of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, given their stated intent to enact these proposals, it appears that it will become necessary to file suit against them. Thankfully, Allegheny County Sportsmen’s League (ACSL) and Firearm Owners Against Crime (FOAC) are already preparing to file suit against the City of Pittsburgh; however, given the backing that the City has from Moms Demand Action, CeaseFirePA..etc., it is anticipated that this litigation will be extremely expensive. Thus, if you are able to contribute to the litigation, you can do such by going here – https://secure.lawpay.com/pages/civilrightsdefensefirm/trust – and simply placing in the reference field: Pittsburgh Firearm Preemption Litigation
If your rights have been violated by an illegal firearm or ammunition ordinance or regulation promulgated by a state agency, county, municipality or township, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.
Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.