Commentary

Philadelphia Bans Guns in City Parks Despite State Law That Says It Can't

By Stephen Gutowski | April 5, 2013 | 4:50pm EDT

The mayor of Philadelphia, Democrat Michael Nutter, signed a law this week which bans gun from city playgrounds and recreation centers. According to NBC10, the law levies a $2,000 fine on anybody who brings a gun "in or around city-owned and occupied facilities." The law still faces a serious hurdle to clear, though.

Pennsylvania has a state preemption law that prevents the city of Philadelphia from instituting its own gun control legislation. NBC10 reports that "Uniform Firearms Act of 1995 makes it illegal for any county, municipality or township to regulate an individual's possession of firearms." In fact, other towns have repealed their restrictions on legally-owned firearms in parks due to the state law.

So, it is up to the state to act against this Philadelphia law that appears to be in direct violation of the Uniform Firearms Act. It may be very important for them to do so. After all, as this incident shows, the politicians in Philadelphia want strict gun control.

If not for Pennsylvania's gun laws preempting localities, Philadelphia may well end up with gun laws like those in Chicago. And, if it did end up like Chicago, Philadelphians like the 63 year old South Philly man who recently used a gun to defend his family, home and business, may well be left disarmed. That's what makes state preemption laws so important.

When cities are allowed, by their state governments to run roughshod over their citizens' rights, it creates a real and obvious threat to their freedoms. If it weren't for state preemption laws, it's a real possibility that not just Philadelphia, but all cities, would have the draconian gun restrictions that Chicago does. That's something that every gun rights supporter needs to be aware, and leery, of.

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