Sunday, June 21, 2009

State court again strikes down Philly gun laws

A state appeals court ruled Wednesday that the city cannot enforce an assault weapons ban and a law prohibiting guns bought by one person and given to another, measures passed by City Council in an effort to combat persistent gun violence. The 6-1 ruling marked the latest setback for Philadelphia officials, who have fought for years for the right to pass their own gun legislation. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has previously upheld the state's exclusive right to enact gun laws. The National Rifle Association challenged a series of measures that were passed by City Council in April 2008 and signed by Mayor Michael Nutter. Both sides expect the case to end up before the state's highest court again. "The bottom line is, we won," NRA attorney C. Scott Shields said of the ruling. In Thursday's ruling, the court said the city could not ban assault weapons or pass the law prohibiting straw purchases, in which one person fills out forms and buys a gun for someone else — often convicted felons who can't legally own guns...AP

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