Monday, November 25, 2013

Philadelphia City Counsel Breaks Law with Ban on 3D Printed Guns

Philadelphia has flouted  the rule of law by banning the non-existent threat of 3D printed guns.

Pennsylvania law specifically preempts firearms law in the state.   City and County governments are not allowed to pass their own firearms law.  This is the  code:
§ 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.

(a) General rule.--No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.

(a.1) No right of action.-- 

(1) No political subdivision may bring or maintain an action at law or in equity against any firearms or ammunition manufacturer, trade association or dealer for damages, abatement, injunctive relief or any other relief or remedy resulting from or relating to either the lawful design or manufacture of firearms or ammunition or the lawful marketing or sale of firearms or ammunition to the public.
Kenyatta Johnson, who is the author of the bill, is not aware of any 3D printed guns in the city.  Johnson's director of legislation is quoted here:
”It’s all pre-emptive,” says Johnson’s director of legislation Steve Cobb. “It’s just based upon internet stuff out there.”
 The problem is that Philadelphia's preemption was already preempted by the state preemption law.   It is not as though the Philadelphia law serves any useful purpose, other than to draw attention to the city council's lawlessness.  It takes a lot of chutzpah to expect people to follow a law that breaks the law.

3D printed guns are useful, in that they point out the ease with which guns are made at home, as they have been for the last 1500 years.   It appears that 3D printers somehow connect with today's politicians.  They understand that computers and printers exist.  They have actually used them.   And, it is understandable that they have no understanding of how easy it is to make guns.  They have likely never used a file or drill or hammer, let alone a welder or lathe.   Even in the 1970's about 20% of the guns confiscated in the District of Columbia where home manufactured.  Homemade guns are even made in prison.

There may not be as many homemade guns in Philadelphia, because ordinary guns are very common in Pennsylvania, function very well, and are protected by the State and Federal constitutions. 

What has happened here is a simple example of why Philadelphia is going broke and has a high crime rate.   Having a city council that does not care about the  rule of law, does not understand reality, and likes to engage in political grandstanding, explains those problems rather well.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

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