Thursday, June 16, 2011

Court: NRA Does Not Have Standing to Challenge Pittsburgh Law

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by the National Rifle Association of lower court rulings on the city of Pittsburgh's lost or stolen gun ordinance. In 2008 City Council approved the law which requires gun owners to report to police within 24 hours of discovering that the firearms have been lost or stolen. The ordinance is intended to cut down on ""straw purchases" of guns where a person buys a gun and then sells it to someone who legally cannot purchase the firearm. Then when the gun is used in a crime, the original legal buyer claims it was lost or stolen.

The state's highest court opted not to hear the NRA's appeal of lower courts' decisions that the organization does not have legal standing to challenge the ordinance. The NRA claims the Pittsburgh ordinance violates a state law that bans local governments from regulating guns. Supporters argue that this law does not regulate guns but only requires owners to report when they are lost or stolen. The NRA has not indicted whether they will go to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In addition to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and 45 other municipalities have enacted such laws.
The court rulings on the Pittsburgh ordinance have only been on "standing" only and not on the constitutionality of the measure.

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