Crawford v. Pennsylvania — Defending Gun Rights of Philadelphians

admin Constitutional Law, Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

Today, we filed an brief for Gun Owners of America, Inc. and other nonprofits opposing Philadelphia’s challenge to the constitutionality of Pennsylvania’s long-standing firearms preemption statute.  That statute prevents Philadelphia from imposing greater firearms restrictions on its residents than those approved by the General Assembly for Pennsylvania as a whole.  Philadelphia bases its challenge on the assumption that wherever there are more guns, there is more gun violence.  Philadelphia failed to even consider how many times firearms prevent crime when used in self-defense.  Thus, the brief argued not only that Philadelphia does not need more restrictions on firearms, but since only law-abiding citizens abide by such restrictions, it makes them even more vulnerable to criminals who obey no criminal laws.

Philadelphia asserts that the General Assembly’s limitation of City gun ordinances violates Article 1, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution,  but our brief explains that this section actually guarantees to each citizen of Pennsylvania the right to defend his of life, liberty, and property.   Our brief also pointed out that the General Assembly’s firearms preemption law had been previously reviewed and approved by Pennsylvania courts as a valid exercise of legislative authority.  We argued that no state court has the authority to order the General Assembly to enact laws to its liking, as that would be  a usurpation of power by the judiciary, upsetting the necessary balance of powers between the co-equal branches of government. We also explained that Philadelphia’s District Attorney, which George Soros spent almost $1.5 million to elect, has been soft on crime, and recently, 150 former prosecutors have explained that this has led to an increase in gun violence in Philadelphia.

Our brief can be found here.