Gun control laws in court today

May 19, 2008 3:55:45 PM PDT
Today lawyers start arguing whether Philadelphia's own gun laws are legal.

Gun control advocates were outside court Monday, demanding a judge allow Philadelphia police to enforce five new laws created by city council and the mayor last month.

The judge is being asked to overturn the gun control laws by the high-powered gun lobby: the National Rifle Association.

Judge Jane Greenspan has already temporarily blocked enforcement until she hears the challenge from the NRA.

In April, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter (D) signed five gun control bills into law. They include provisions that would limit gun purchases to one per person per month and require immediate reporting of any firearms that are lost or stolen.

Supporters, including Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey say the city needed to act because the state hasn't.

They say without controls, weapons will continue to end up on the streets; weapons like the rifle used to kill Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski or the guns confiscated after a shootout at 26th and Dickinson over the weekend.

But the National Rifle Association is challenging the Constitutionality of the laws, saying only the state can pass laws governing guns.

The lawyers will make closing arguments to Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan tomorrow.