Local Gun Laws Unlikely To Survive Court Challenge

The Pennsylvania Constitution authorizes the state legislature to decide what it will or will not regulate.

Joe DeStio
November 12, 2018 - 4:02 pm

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Related: Pittsburgh Leaders Advocating For Gun Control

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Any effort to restrict gun and ammunition sales in the city of Pittsburgh is doomed to fail according to a law expert at Duquesne University. Professor Bruce Ledowitz says the Pennsylvania Constitution authorizes the state legislature to decide what it will or will not regulate.

“State law is currently pretty broad and very pre-emptive of local municipalities regulating guns in any way,” according to Ledowitz.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Councilman Corey O’Connor and some other city officials are talking about tougher gun laws in wake of the Tree of Life shootings in Squirrel Hill more than two weeks ago.

“I think if you look across the country there’s a movement to have common sense laws. There’s no reason why an individual should have an AR-15 and things like that,” according to O’Connor.

Even a more liberal state Supreme Court is unlikely to interpret the Constitution differently, says Ledowitz. However, he says there is one way new gun restrictions could be written he says.

“‘Subject to any restriction in state law, comma,’ and then you can enact whatever you want. At least you go on record.”

While polls show a strong majority of Pennsylvanians favor new gun restrictions, the Republican-controlled legislature has been unwilling to pass tougher gun laws.

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