Legal challenge brewing as PA township mulls gun discharge ordinance
By Christen Smith
A tiny borough in northwestern Pennsylvania could face a big legal challenge over a proposed ordinance banning gun discharges.
Strattanville Borough Council discussed the proposal last week after one of its members complained about hearing errant gunfire earlier this month. Less than 600 residents live in the half-square mile borough.
The ordinance — though unseen by the public—would be modeled after Rose Valley Borough’s policy of fining residents up to $300, plus court costs and/or 30 days in jail for gun discharges.
Strattanville Borough Solicitor Ralph L.S. Montana told Explore Clarion Thursday he knew getting such an ordinance approved wouldn’t be easy. “There aren’t too many places in Pennsylvania that have firearms ordinances,” he said.
That’s because regulating firearms over and above state law remains unconstitutional in Pennsylvania, according to Joshua Prince, an attorney with Prince Law Offices. His gun rights defense firm, the Firearms Industry Consulting Group, promised a legal battle should Strattanville enact the ordinance.
“A patchwork of laws across the Commonwealth serves no purpose but to ensnare those, who have no intention of violating the law but who unwarily find themselves in a jurisdiction, which imposes restrictions on their rights that the Commonwealth otherwise allows,” Prince said in a letter of opposition