Phil. DA Abraham at Odds with New Gun Laws

by | Apr 17, 2008

Philadelphia enacted five new gun laws last week, which require owners of firearms to report lost or stolen firearms, ban assault weapons, restrict purchases to one per month, permits petitions to search premises for seizure of weapons and prohibits those subject to certain restraining orders to possess or receive a firearm during the term of the order.

However, according to yesterday, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham believes the city’s new gun laws are unconstitutional. In addition, the story says that Abraham will not enforce the city’s newly-enacted gun laws.

Abraham is correct, and the Philadelphia Crimes Code, 18 Pa.C.S. Sec. 6120 (Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition), specifically prohibits Philadelphia County from enacting gun laws that regulate firearms in this way. The relevant provisions of that statute state: “No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.” This issue has already been litigated in Ortiz v. Philadelphia, 681 A.2d 152 (1996) and the city lost.

You can also learn more about gun transfer crimes here.

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