Philadelphia and state officials gathered at City Council Chambers Thursday, calling for a halt to legislation that would help gun rights groups and hurt cities that they sue.
Mayor Jim Kenney said reintroduction of a measure giving the NRA and other groups special standing to sue cities over gun regulations keeps municipalities from setting their own standards for firearms.
“Guns and gun culture in Pennsylvania is a hunting issue, a sportsman’s issue, and I respect that,” Kenney said. “But as you see what is going on on our streets across the country, that is not a culture that we are proud of and we want to change.
“We never get the opportunity to change it because [politicians] always want to stand in the way in order to ingratiate themselves with the NRA.”
Council President Darrell Clarke was among those joining CeaseFirePA in denouncing the last-minute add to the state legislative schedule.
“We absolutely love the fact that people want to hunt, but you do not need an AR15 [rifle] to hunt deer, particularly given the ease that they can modify the weapon to rip off 50 shots at a time,” said Clarke. “This is madness, the city of Philadelphia deserves the opportunity to enact its own legislation.”
Other lawmakers urged those in Harrisburg to fight to keep the bill from passing when the state House and Senate return for a short period before the end of the legislative session.