Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: NRA lawsuits against cities; When can cities enact their own laws; Capitol Week

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jan 15, 2015 2:56 PM
State capitol at 4 o'clock 600 x 340.jpg

Photo by Scott LaMar/WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Friday, January 16, 2015:

On Thursday's Smart Talk, Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray said he was confident a court would rule the city is not breaking any state laws with its ordinance that requires gun owners to report lost or stolen guns.

The National Rifle Association is suing Lancaster and two other cities claiming the cities' ordinances do not comply with state law that prohibit municipalities from adopting laws that regulate the ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of guns and ammunition.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly approved a bill last year that allows third parties -- meaning those not directly impacted by a city's gun laws -- to challenge the ordinances in court.  It went into effect last week.

Jonathan Goldstein, an attorney for the NRA makes his argument on Friday's Smart Talk.

Hear a previous Smart Talk featuring Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray and NRA Pennsylvania Liaison John Hohenwalter here.

Also, we'll hear what guidelines municipalities do have to enact ordinances that differ from state law.  John Gedid, Professor Emeritus of Law and Founder of the Law and Government Institute at the Widener School of Law joins us.

In addition, WITF's Ben Allen speaks with Public Source reporter Jeff Benzing about their investigation into funding for the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.  Public Source reports the agency gets one-fourth of the funding it request from the state.

Finally, WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson will have the Capitol Week-in-Review.

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  • Bob Nunn img 2015-01-16 09:30

    Why is this guy yelling into the phone?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:32

    Lee emails:

    The Lancaster law does not regulate firearms. By definition, it comes into effect only when there is no firearm -- it has already been stolen or lost.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:37

    John emails:

    I resent the taxpayers of Pa. being bullied by a well funded lobby group. If the citizens of Harrisburg don't like the law they will elect new representatives who will change it.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:42

    Noelle emails:

    How in the world do these people feel they have a right to bulldoze and hold hostage municipalities that want to pass regulatory laws that are smart, logical, and simple concerning such dangerous death weapons as guns? I do not want anymore guns around than there already are... Who gave these people such large platforms for such skewed views? Please get him off , you are just adding to their bullying power.

  • Bob Nunn img 2015-01-16 09:46

    Is this guy going to get my right to carry a weapon into the capitol restored.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:47

    Elizabeth emails:

    Great show, as usual,
    Scott would you ask Mr Goldstein this:
    Our population is greatly varied, some folks are perturbed. Our civilized society has determined that now, in our 21st century, potentially dangerous situation must be regulated: Driving, drinking care of children etc.
    Having seen too many dangerous deadly situation with guns & deranged folks. Why is it so wrong to regulate guns. Notwithstanding that it is an amendment to our constitution, this constitution was written so long ago, without the knowledge we now have.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:48

    Jim emails:

    NRA used to be in favor of reasonable gun regulations. This has been well documented by NPR and others. Then, they were taken over by the radical right and did a 180. Ask him to explain and justify.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:49

    Stephen emails:

    Why is this man so angry? I certainly hope he is not carrying.

    If the NRA is so sure they know the answers, why don’t they use their influence, numbers, and wealth to help solve the problem rather than complicate it? If they are so wise and knowing, please help in a useful way. What an example they provide to our youth and society. When I was a kid, the NRA was a good thing. Now they seem to be a tool of the arms manufacturers. What a waste of time, talent and money.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-01-16 09:53

    Jesse emails:

    I live in Lancaster City and the gun law makes sense. Will I feel less safe living and walking in my city without this law. Scott Lamar isn't asking and following up with any of the important questions and points that show how ridiculous the NRA's stance is against it. This episode of smart talk seems to be a platform for NRA to pontificate uncontested. His questions are like underhanded softball pitches. I can't listen to your show.

  • Watching Politics img 2015-01-16 09:57

    Jonathan Goldstein clearly knows he's on the wrong side. Why? Because he uses obviously bogus arguments to try to make his case.

    Law enforcement is "not using the tool" because they DON'T HAVE THE TOOL. They need it to IDENTIFY the straw purchasers. But this "lawyer" is pretending that they need it to make straw purchasing illegal at all. It's a straw man (pun not intended) and any lawyer worth his salt can see that.

  • Watching Politics img 2015-01-16 09:58

    I find it scary that the law professor, John Gedid, is arguing not from the text of the law but from his own belief about what it's supposed to mean. This guy is teaching lawyers?

  • Watching Politics img 2015-01-16 10:01

    Why would the NRA want to enable straw purchases? Because it's good for the gun industry, and that's who the NRA really works for.

    Every time a gun is used in a crime the populace gets scared and goes out and buys more guns. The gun industry has a financial motive to INCREASE gun crime.