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NRA Wins Again in Pennsylvania Court: Permanent Restraining Order Against the City of Philadelphia

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fairfax, VA- On Wednesday, June 4, a Pennsylvania court issued a permanent restraining order against two major planks of Philadelphia’s municipal gun control measures the city enacted in April. The measures, banning so-called assault weapons and restricting handgun purchases to one per month, violate Pennsylvania’s state preemption laws to maintain uniformity over a statewide system of gun laws passed by the state legislature.

“We are pleased with the ruling, but we will continue fighting to protect Pennsylvania’s overall state preemption,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “The provisions struck down by the court were the backbone of the city’s plan, but there is still work to do. NRA will continue to seek justice and freedom for the law-abiding citizens in the crime-ravaged city of Philadelphia.”

On April 10th, Philadelphia’s city council passed a package of gun control bills that clearly violate state law and the state constitution. Mayor Michael Nutter, in a show of defiance against the state legislature, signed the bills. Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham warned the city council and mayor that their taxpayer-funded folly was unconstitutional, but the city decided to dedicate its resources to pursuing this foolish lawsuit anyway, rather than spending those resources on pursuing and prosecuting criminals.

“Philadelphia has continually thumbed its nose at the Pennsylvania state legislature, while doing nothing to empower their own law-abiding constituents to protect themselves against thugs and violent criminals they won’t keep behind bars,” continued Cox. “The city should stop burdening its law-abiding citizens and start locking up criminals.”

By April 17th, NRA had a temporary injunction and by June 3rd, the court had permanently enjoined the worst of those laws as preempted.

NRA remains joined in this effort by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) the state dealers association (PaFR) and local Philadelphia residents. Three other provisions having to do with enforcement measures however were sustained. Both sides intend to appeal.


Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.