Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence will be joining forces with the city's legal team in an effort to fight of a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association. At the heart of the matter is whether Pittsburgh overstepped its bounds when it passed an ordinance late last year that mandates gun owners contact the police within 24 hours of the loss or theft of a firearm. Joe Grace of the gun control advocacy group Cease Fire Pennsylvania says Harrisburg has left local leaders with little choice because they have failed to enact gun reform legislation on a statewide level. City council member Doug Shields says the point of the legislation is to reduce straw purchases, where a person with a clean record buys guns for others to use in criminal activity. But the NRA believes the law is beyond city council's authority--as did mayor Luke Ravenstahl when he declined to sign the legislation. The Brady Center, a national organization is experienced in opposing the NRA and will send lawyers, pro bono, to help defend the gun reform ordinance.