The National Rifle Association was originally founded to advance rifle marksmanship. Like your local ATV club, the NRA was a club for enthusiasts interested in gathering and sharing a common interest.
My, how things have changed! In 1934, the NRA decided to start publicizing any and all legislation regarding firearms, and in 1975, they amended their mission statement to include “protect and defend the Constitution.” By “protect and defend the Constitution” they actually meant be the public voice of gun manufacturers and protect and defend their profit margins.
The NRA is well-known for opposing any law that mentions guns, unless said law is the repeal of existing gun control statutes. They lobbied against the gun-safety bill introduced after Sandy Hook, even though a majority of their membership agreed with the measure.
They’re opposed to any form of firearm restriction or registration because making guns more difficult to buy, whether by criminals or law-abiding citizen, means less dollars for their corporate sponsors. They’re opposed to people having to report guns lost or stolen, though nobody seems to know why.
After lobbying against a loss reporting law in Pennsylvania and losing, a judge told them they had no basis to try their case in court. In a secretive end-around the legislature, the NRA had a nifty little addendum added to a bill criminalizing stealing copper wire and pipes. Because the National Rifle Association, as everyone knows, has a major vested interest in copper wire and pipes…for some reason.
Known as act 192, the clause they had added to the law allows organizations and private citizens to sue towns and municipalities who enact gun control statutes, allowing them to recover legal expenses without having to prove injury.
Corporate puppet and advocate for the privileged Republican Governor Tom Corbett signed the bill into law, pointing out that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that municipalities cannot enact laws that supersede state law. Their own little version of the 14th amendment.
The law now allows the NRA to challenge any gun control in court, not simply on legality, but as a civil matter where damages can be awarded.
Yes, it’s quite possibly the dumbest law of all time.
State legislators are challenging the law in court, citing that the process deprived cities like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Lancaster of the ability to oppose the law before it went to Corbett’s desk. Those three cities have gun violence issues, and one unconstitutional clause in a bill completely unrelated to guns may make it impossible to pass future gun control legislation.
With the threat of lawsuits and monetary awards large cities can’t afford, local councils would most likely be unwilling to enact new rules or restrictions.
Any such law would bring the gun-toting lapdogs of the NRA, who have no idea what the Constitution they think they’re defending says, out in droves. Money won’t be an issue since lawyers will work on contingency, knowing they’ll be compensated by the already overburdened budgets of cities and towns struggling to get by.