Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday likened himself and City Council members to the band of rebels who formed the U.S. as he signed five new gun-control laws that defy the state legislature and legal precedent, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. The five laws, which critics called everything from unconstitutional to criminal, limit handgun purchases to one a month, require lost or stolen firearms to be reported to police within 24 hours, bar people under protection-from-abuse orders from possessing guns if ordered by the court, allow removal of firearms from “persons posing a risk of imminent personal injury” to themselves or others, and ban possession and sale of certain assault weapons.
Nutter said he would begin to enforce the laws immediately, with the exception of the one-gun-a-month requirement, which takes effect in six months. Yet a 1974 state law reserves gun regulation to the state legislature. A 1996 Supreme Court ruling allowed the legislature to prevent Philadelphia and Pittsburgh from enacting local gun laws. National Rifle Association spokesman John Hohenwarter said he expected the organization to sue “within a short time frame.”