Mayor Nutter used a press conference at Police headquarters this morning to take aim at the National Rifle Association and two local gun shops for suing the city in an attempt to block enforcement of five new local gun control laws. Nutter said the NRA was "virtually criminal in their actions" for blocking efforts at local gun control. He also suggested that gun sales data shows the two gun shops -- Colosimo's Inc. and The Firing Line Inc. -- have made multiple sales of guns to individuals in five-day spans. One of the new city laws would limit handgun sales to one a month. "I think you have to use common sense and your own moral decency to say: Why would I continue selling this person weapons?" Nutter asked about the multiple sales. "It's clear that they probably are not using it for their own protection. How many guns do you need?"
Nutter stopped short of accusing the shops of purposely helping customers make "straw purchases," where guns are sold legally to those who can possess them and then re-sold on the streets to people who can't legally possess them. But still Nutter was hitting hard at the gun shops. "They stepped up big and bad, wanting to file a lawsuit," Nutter said. "If you file a lawsuit, be prepared to take some coming back at you. The facts are the facts. I don't need to accuse them of anything. The data lays out what they're about and what they do. They need to be held accountable."
Common Pleas Court Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan is about to reconvene a hearing in City Hall on the NRA's request for a permanent injunction to keep the five gun control laws from being enforced. From the way Greenspan spoke during a hearing yesterday, it seems likely that the NRA is going to get it's way. But that may be fine with the city, which is hoping to take the case to a higher court on appeal. City Solicitor Shelley Smith this morning seemed almost eager: "Certainly if she intends to grant the permanent injunction, we would prefer that she did it sooner rather than later." The city will have 30 days to appeal but Smith said she'd be ready to go in a week to 10 days.