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Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray defends gun law at center of suit

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Jan 16, 2015 5:32 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- The city of Lancaster later today plans to discuss its response to a lawsuit filed by the National Rifle Association against it, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia seeking to stop them from enforcing their firearms laws.

Mayor Rick Gray tells WITF's Smart Talk he stands by the ordinance in question, which requires a person to report a lost or stolen gun to the authorities within 72 hours of discovering its gone.

He says no one has been prosecuted under the law and adds he believes it does not infringe on the rights of lawful gun owners.

"People seem to think (the NRA) is absolutely right and we're going to lose this thing. I'm not so sure they are right," he says. "If you read that carefully, we are not regulating the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms. We're asking people when a gun is stolen, report it."

The NRA is utilizing a recent state law that makes it easier for gun-rights groups to sue to overturn local firearms measures.

Gray says a lot could be at stake in this case.

"If the NRA loses this suit, I'll guarantee this....100 hundred other communities in Pennsylvania are going to adopt similar ordinances," he says. "Rather than help us combat the illegal use of firearms in our community, the NRA seems to want to hinder our ability to do that."

Another group, Houston-based U.S. Law Shield, sued Harrisburg on Tuesday over its gun laws.

Reading is among other municipalities who have pulled back on strict gun laws since the state law went into effect.

Coming up at nine this morning on Smart Talk, we'll hear from an N-R-A  attorney as well as a law professor on what guidelines municipalities do have to enact ordinances that differ from state law.

Published in Harrisburg, Lancaster, News

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