To the Editor,
The newly enforceable municipal pre-emption law — Act 192 of 2014 — represents an abuse of power in the name of gun rights. And it is already wreaking havoc.
Local governments are forced to address gun safety with local ordinances because for decades the state legislature has proven it is unwilling to help municipalities keep their residents safe.
The state has failed to pass, or even meaningfully consider, legislation that would keep lost and stolen firearms from getting into the hands of criminals, or to prevent straw purchasers from helping to obtain guns for people who aren’t legally permitted to have them.
These issues have nothing to do with the rights of legal gun owners, yet the legislature has given the NRA permission, and the means, to wage a very profitable crusade based on them.
The idea that local control doesn’t matter when it comes to this issue makes no sense, and worse, it’s dangerous. We are all aware how diverse Pennsylvania is; yet supporters of pre-emption seem to think that a statewide mandate will have the same effect in Pittsburgh as it does in Darlington, Beaver County.
Large municipalities like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster have very different gun problems as compared to their suburban and rural counterparts, and that’s where the problem lies, that if left unfixed, will demolish cities, communities and their residents.
Safe streets should be the top concern for every public servant. Unfortunately, Act 192 goes against that very principle.
State Rep. Ed Gainey
24th Legislative District
(Gainey is a second-term Democrat representing Wilkinsburg and portions of the city of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County.)
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