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Brady Files Amicus Brief in Support of Challenge to Pennsylvania Law that Bars Local Governments From Addressing Gun Violence in their Communities

Washington, D.C., September 30, 2022 – Local municipalities in Pennsylvania should not be barred by the state government from enacting common-sense gun safety measures, according to an amicus brief filed today in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by Brady and the Giffords Law Center. You can read the full brief here.

Current Pennsylvania law restricts city and local governments from enacting gun violence prevention regulations due to a state Firearm Preemption law that constrains local leadership’s ability to address violence in their jurisdictions.

In a 3-2 decision in May, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania dismissed a challenge to that law, holding that Pennsylvania’s Firearm Preemption law was not unconstitutional and was intended to ensure that Pennsylvanians are subject to uniform firearm regulations as they travel throughout the state.

Brady Counsel Shira Feldman shared

"There are marked differences in gun violence between Pennsylvania’s urban and rural communities. We know that solutions implemented at the local level, which can be tailored to each area’s unique needs and conditions, are effective at curbing gun violence. Local action and accountability is critical to saving lives, and by prohibiting these efforts, Pennsylvania’s current preemption law poses a great risk to public safety.”

Last year in Philadelphia, 2,326 people were shot, and a record-high 562 were killed. Police in the city recovered nearly 6,000 guns connected to crimes. And the city is on track to surpass those numbers in 2022.

Brady and Giffords are represented pro bono in this case by the law firm of Covington & Burling.

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Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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