PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Despite the objections of mayors like Pittsburgh’s Bill Peduto and Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter, the state legislature approved a bill backed by the National Rifle Association that opponents say will cost local taxpayers a lot of money.
“Now we have empowered this incredibly powerful wealthy organization with enormous resources to come sue our municipalities, many of whom are struggling in this state,” says PA Rep. Dan Frankel, a Squirrel Hill Democrat.READ MORE: Holy Cow, Not Again! More Bovines Get Loose In West Virginia
Under the bill, gun rights groups like the NRA will be able to sue municipalities that enact gun control measures.
And if the group wins in court, taxpayers will pay the group’s legal fees.
The effect, says Frankel, is to prevent Pittsburgh from enforcing its local ordinances like one requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms.
“It is preempting the ability of our local governments to pass common sense gun laws that protect our citizens, laws that have been asked for by law enforcement agencies throughout the commonwealth.”
But 2nd Amendment attorney Frank Walker says it’s unfair to gun owners to have different gun rules depending on municipalities.READ MORE: Anti-Violence Organizations In Pittsburgh React To New Law Enforcement Initiatives
He likes the bill.
“I think it gives an opportunity to be on the same page across the commonwealth whether it be municipalities, towns,” said Walker. “Everyone’s following the same rules. They know what they’re facing, and they know what is required.”
Walker says when municipalities act on their own, “It creates confusion, and there needs to be consistency across the commonwealth.”
But Frankel says with gun violence in the cities, local officials cannot wait for state action.
“The mayor, the city council members, have a responsibility to do what it takes to protect them, and that trumps everything,” Frankel said.
Gov. Corbett supports the bill and is expected to sign the bill shortly, while his opponent, Tom Wolf, opposes the measure.MORE NEWS: UPMC Doctors Trying To Raise Awareness About Benefits Of Naps For First Responders
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