Pennsylvania has a state preemption statue, a regulation that says that counties, cities and municipalities cannot attempt to regulate beyond the limits of the state law. It’s been getting a workout lately, because it seems Pittsburgh seems determined to ignore that statute -at least when it’s applied to gun laws.
Yesterday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto signed legislation that bans “large capacity” ammunition magazines and “assault rifles”from the City of Pittsburgh.
The response was so rapid it was almost simultaneous. The National Rifle Association joined local residents to file a lawsuit challenging the bans in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.
The case, Anderson v. City of Pittsburgh, challenges the law on several points, including the fact that while the City of Pittsburg chooses to classify magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition “high capacity” -they are, in fact the standard magazines that come with many of the country’s most popular firearms, including those commonly used for self-defense.
“Pittsburgh residents have a right to carry the self-defense tool that best suits their needs and the NRA is proud to support this challenge to the city’s magazine ban,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “Restricting law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights will do nothing to stop violent criminals.”
“Pennsylvania law is very clear that the power to regulate firearms is the exclusive province of the General Assembly, not local governments,” said David Thompson, an attorney for the plaintiffs. “Pennsylvania courts have repeatedly struck down Pittsburgh ordinances that attempted to regulate firearms in defiance of state law, and we are confident that this latest ordinance will meet the same fate.”
Maybe so, but it seems the residents of Pittsburgh would be tired of seeing the city pass “eyewash” regulations that are, in fact, unenforceable due to the fact they contravene existing law. The laws are struck down, but not before the citizens of Pittsburgh’s tax dollars are further wasted mounting legal defenses.
It’s a vicious cycle that demonstrates just how determined many politicians are to enact additional rules that make it more difficult for lawful citizens to own guns. It does very little - if anything- to stop criminals because they, by their very definition ignore the law.
With the California battle over high-capacity magazines continuing, it seems there’s very little chance that there will be anything other than a running gun battle underway when the National Rifle Association kicks off it’s annual meetings in Indianapolis, Indiana, in only a couple of weeks.
With President Trump once again set to address the attendees, it’s for certain the annual meetings will once again be the focus of both sides of the gun battle. There’s really no way to know what the President will tell NRA members, because his promise “no one is coming after your guns” two years ago seems a bit hollow as the constant sniping at the Second Amendment continues.
Between the direct battles over bad laws and the continued efforts of new Democratic Representatives to use their spots on the House Financial Services Committee to make none-too-veiled threats to bankers who continue to do business with the gun industry. Between rabid anti-gunner Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) it’s been obvious in hearings that AOC means it when she says “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” and “not everything has to be done through legislation explicitly”.
What she appears to be saying is that the “outrage” groups she’s charmed will quickly turn on anyone she chooses to sic them on.
Not everyone in Washington, fortunately, is so enamored of AOC that they’re willing to give in to her every tantrum. The Senate has introduced S.821 the Freedom Financing Act, a measure that would prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the providing of financial services.
If all this sounds familiar, it’s eerily reminiscent of President Obama’s Operation Choke Point, when federal regulators leaned on banks to drop relationships with gun sellers and other lawful - but socially unacceptable- businesses. Those unacceptable businesses, incidentally included pawn shops and paycheck loan companies.
In case all the daily drama hasn’t turned you off to the gun industry, there’s an upcoming opportunity to get into the gun business in a one-stop approach.
We learned today that Adams Arms is being auctioned off as a “completely turnkey operation” - meaning all “tangible and intangible assets owned by Adams Arms LLC, including accounts, registered patents, registered trademarks, instruments and/or investment documents, furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, and related property.”
If you’re interested, the auction will happen at the former Adams Arms HQ in Odessa, Florida on April 30, 2019. There’s an inspection period the full day prior to the auction- for duly qualified buyers who have signed a non-disclosure agreement, made a registration deposit ($20,000).
The April 30, 2019 auction of Adams Arms will include the manufacturing equipment (top) as well as any existing inventory (below), as well as all intellectual property. Screen shots from Moecker Auctions website.
Guess when you look at the things that we’ve all come to consider almost routine -legal challenges to bad legislation, threats and demonization from liberal anti-gun groups, Mr. Trump might have plenty to talk about in Indianapolis.
We’ll be there-and we’ll keep you posted.