Chambersburg Public Opinion | Editorial | April 5, 2012
Want an example of the extent to which pro-gun partisans have come to rule the roost? An idea of how just how irrelevant common sense has become?
It was reported this week that concealed firearms are excluded from a litany of items one cannot carry within certain locations associated with the GOP convention in Tampa Bay this summer.
That's because Florida law does not allow cities and municipalities to regulate the sale, purchase, transfer, taxation, manufacture, ownership, possession, storage or transportation of guns or ammunition.
So, when it comes to the convention's designated protest area, for example, people won't be allowed to carry umbrellas with metal tips. But a concealed firearm? No problem, if you have a permit. (To be clear, the U.S. Secret Service intends to ban firearms within a perimeter it will establish that will include the convention itself.)
We mention this Florida nonsense as a cautionary example. After all, Pennsylvania has legislation pending right now that would make it easier for gun control opponents to legally challenge local gun regulations.
A coalition of Pennsylvania mayors representing cities large and small says the bill represents an attempt to coerce municipalities into repealing ordinances that require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to authorities. Some 30 municipalities have such laws on their books.
If the legislation becomes law, gun owners and activist organizations such as the National Rifle Association will gain legal standing to sue small towns over such ordinances, according to the Associated Press, regardless of whether they reside or otherwise possess any connection to the municipality.
Obviously, the pending Pennsylvania legislation is much smaller in the scope than the law in Florida that allows concealed guns - but not ropes or straps six inches or longer - inside certain areas at the GOP convention.
But this is how precedents are established, how slippery slopes become smooth.
You simply chip away at common sense until the legal landscape can sustain whatever special interest national organizations want to impose on local folks.
Chipping away at local gun control regulations?