Philadelphia will continue gun law battle

June 26, 2008 8:53:09 PM PDT
While it's true the U.S. Supreme Court ruling has removed all doubt that there is a right to have a pistol in one's own home for self-defense, there is still much the court left in the realm of the unknown. It allows both Mayor Michael Nutter and the National Rifle Association to put positive spins on what the ruling means for Philadelphia's efforts to regulate guns "It has no effect whatsoever," says Nutter. "It has nothing to do with what we're doing here in Philadelphia."

John Murrowitz with the NRA disagrees. "Mr. Nutter seems happy ignoring what the law says. He doesn't care that Philadelphia has lost this battle again, and again, and again."

The city and the NRA are already bogged down in the Pennsylvania courts over the city's attempt to write its own gun laws. Earlier this month, a Philadelphia judge struck down city ordinances banning assault weapons and limiting handgun purchases, but allowed the city to remove guns from people declared to be a risk to themselves or others, prevent people subject to protection from abuse orders from owning guns, and require gun owners to report the loss or theft of a weapon to police within 24 hours.

The NRA argues the U.S. Supreme Court ruling further strengthens its position.

Nutter points to Justice Scalia's opinion that the court was not casting doubt on long standing bans on carrying concealed weapons or gun possession by felons, or on laws barring guns from schools or government buildings, and laws putting conditions on gun sales.

"As a matter of fact, if you read thru the ruling, page 22, page 54 and some of the actual wording in the ruling it reaffirms that governments have a right to enact legislation to protect their citizens. It's very, very clear, I'm very proud of this kind of ruling, it helps us in our efforts."

"He hasn't got a leg to stand on," says Murrowitz. "He's going to waste a lot of money that could be better used."

Both sides do agree on one thing. They will continueto fight for their positions through the courts, and there are many facets to keep court dockets filled for years to come.