Philadelphia, Oct. 21, 2014 – City Council President Darrell L. Clarke and members of City Council on Tuesday issued a joint statement on House Bill 80, which would allow special interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) to file costly and frivolous lawsuits against municipalities over reasonable regulation of firearms. The bill received final approval by the Pennsylvania House on Monday and Gov. Tom Corbett has indicated he will sign the bill into law.
The statement is as follows:
“What originally was a crimes bill regarding metal theft has been unconstitutionally altered at the 11th hour to include provisions that grease the path for frivolous and costly lawsuits against municipalities of the Commonwealth. We are unequivocally opposed to H.B. 80, which through lobbying by the NRA has become a weapon aimed at the sovereignty of municipal governments including the City of Philadelphia.
“There is no rational reason why this bill should give favored legal status to moneyed special interest gun groups, allowing them to sue and collect large windfalls from taxpayers. Municipalities including the City of Philadelphia are all too familiar with the devastating costs to life, livelihood and neighborhood quality inflicted by senseless gun violence.
“Cities across this Commonwealth enact gun regulations in an effort to save lives, period. To meet such efforts with the threat of costly and frivolous litigation by special interests is heartless at best. Forcing communities devastated by gun violence to fork over thousands of tax dollars to the very organizations responsible for the free flow of deadly weapons in our country is an especially sick irony.
“Municipal governments like ours enact gun regulations to make our cities better places to live. We implore Governor Corbett to do the right thing for the Commonwealth and reject H.B. 80.”
Councilman Mark Squilla, 1st District
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, 2nd District
Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District
Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., 4th District
Council President Darrell L. Clarke, 5th District
Councilman Bobby Henon, 6th District
Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, 7th District
Councilwoman Cindy Bass, 8th District
Councilwoman Marian Tasco, 9th District
Councilman Brian J. O’Neill, 10th District
Councilman At-Large W. Wilson Goode, Jr.
Councilman At-Large William K. Greenlee
Councilman At-Large James Kenney
Councilman At-Large Ed Neilson
Councilwoman At-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown
Watch Council President Clarke join Mayor Nutter, Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray, state lawmakers and CeasefirePA as they announce legal action against this unconstitutional law.