Preemption means that a local government cannot pass a gun control law on its own. In a state that has preemption, those gun laws have to come down from the state. That’s what it actually means.
However, in Pennsylvania, it seems some cities view it not as a law, but as a mild suggestion.
That’s a problem. It’s more of a problem when it seems a court is doing the same thing.
From a GOA press release:
On September 12th, a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge issued a decision denying a permanent injunction in a case involving Philadelphia’s ban on making homemade firearms. The suit was brough by four City of Philadelphia residents in conjunction with Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), and was originally filed in May of 2021.
“This decision ignores clear precedent which confirms statewide preemption for laws that seek to regulate firearms,” said Gilbert Ambler, Esq, attorney for the plaintiffs. “Gun Owners of America is committed to righting this wrong and will promptly appeal this matter while seeking a stay, to avoid injustices to those who seek to exercise their firearm rights in the City of Philadelphia,” continued Ambler.
“We have seen how Philadelphia judges continue to misinterpret the law and are confident this decision will be overturned in Commonwealth Court,” said Dr. Val Finnell, Pennsylvania Director for GOA.
Now, to be clear, there’s zero doubt that GOA will be appealing this to a higher court. Even if they hadn’t said so, we all know it would be coming, and that’s as it should be.
You see, preemption exists to keep people from not being able to keep track of all the gun control laws in various different towns. By having them come from the state, if at all, that keeps things uniform across the state, it eliminates that.
The fact that it also means cities can’t infringe on the Second Amendment is a very, very happy bonus.
OK, so even if that’s the main driver, it doesn’t matter. Philadelphia is ignoring preemption and so did the court, and that cannot be allowed to remain unchallenged.
Further, it seems that this is a judge that needs to be removed from office since he clearly doesn’t understand how to do his job in the first place. As a judge, he doesn’t get to decide to ignore certain laws simply because he doesn’t like them.
Preemption is the law. It’s been upheld time and time again, as I have no doubt it will be in the future as well.
In the meantime, those who might like to build their own gun will be legally barred from doing so, while criminals will do what criminals do by ignoring those rules and building them anyway.
So while the city and the court have ignored preemption, they’ve actually accomplished absolutely nothing, which can be said about pretty much every other gun control law ever imagined. But if you tell proponents that, they can’t seem to comprehend what you’re telling them.
Maybe the next court this case ends up before can.