Philadelphia, June 25, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter issued the following statement in reaction to the decision by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania in the case of Leach v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. In the case, the Court declared unconstitutional a law passed by the Pa. General Assembly last October and signed by then Governor Tom Corbett. The law, known as Act 192, gave standing to groups like the National Rifle Association to sue Pennsylvania cities and towns in connection with their local gun-safety laws. The statement follows:
“The Commonwealth Court’s decision today in the Leach case is a great victory for cities, for public safety, and for good government.
“The Court has preserved the ability of democratically-elected local officials throughout this Commonwealth to do what they think is necessary to protect their citizens from the scourge of gun violence. The Court’s decision also could not be clearer that the way in which Act 192 was adopted by the Pa. General Assembly was undemocratic, unconstitutional and must stop.
“The City of Philadelphia is grateful to be allowed to pursue its common sense gun safety agenda — including requiring persons who lose their guns or have their guns stolen to take the obviously sensible step of reporting the loss or theft to the police — without interference from an advocacy organization like the NRA that does not speak for the citizens of Philadelphia or Pennsylvania.
“I want to thank Senator Leach, who had the courage to stand up to his colleagues in Harrisburg by helping form the coalition that brought this lawsuit; the Mayors of Lancaster and Pittsburgh, who were unwilling to bow to the threats of the NRA and who stood with us in fighting this outrageous legislation; the incredibly valuable advocacy organization CeaseFire PA, which was instrumental in shaping this litigation; and the excellent lawyers at Dechert, who volunteered their time and worked with our own Philadelphia Law Department to bring this successful challenge to Act 192. We hope the Legislature will have the good sense to let this legislation die a quiet death, without the need for further litigation in the Supreme Court.”