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GOA Files Appeal with PA Supreme Court in Challenge to Philly Gun Ban


March 19, 2024 

Washington, D.C. — Late Friday, Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) filed a petition for allowance of appeal with the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in their challenge to the City of Philadelphia’s ban on homemade firearms. 

In a very confusing, fractured decision, a four judge “majority” of the Commonwealth Court voted to uphold Philadelphia’s ordinance that prohibited the manufacturing of homemade firearms stating that it did not violate Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption law. 

Judge Ellen Ceisler wrote for the majority that Philadelphia’s ordinance did not regulate “firearms” but instead “merely prohibits the conversion of unfinished frames or receivers into firearms, as well as the use of certain manufacturing processes to create firearms from scratch, and bars the purchase, sale, or transfer of certain kinds of parts and machinery for purposes of those activities.” 

“Judge Ceisler and the majority’s decision in the Commonwealth Court are clearly in error,”said Dr. Val Finnell, Pennsylvania Director for Gun Owners of America. “One cannot assert that the Pennsylvania General Assembly has preempted the entire field of firearms regulation and claim in the same breath that the City of Philadelphia’s ordinance does not regulate firearms, per se.”

Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other municipalities continue to violate the Constitutional rights of Pennsylvanians by enacting illegal, local gun control ordinances. The Pennsylvania firearms preemption law needs to be strengthened to allow plaintiffs to recover legal fees and damages if they prevail in a legal challenge against such illegal ordinances. 

“We urge the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to hear this case and uphold Pennsylvania’s firearms preemption statute to include the making of firearms,” said Finnell. 

GOA spokesmen are available for interviews.  Gun Owners of America is a nonprofit grassroots lobbying organization dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms without compromise. GOA represents over two million members and activists. For more information, visit GOA’s Press Center.