A Common Pleas judge yesterday ruled that the city may enforce three of the five recently passed local gun-control laws, but blocked the two most aggressive measures - a one-gun-a-month limit and an assault-weapons ban.
"Three out of five I think makes a big win," said Mayor Nutter yesterday.
But Nutter said that the city would continue to push to get court approval for all the legislation, saying that "we have an obligation to try and protect the safety of people in this city."
The National Rifle Association sued the city last month after Nutter signed the five gun-control bills into law. The NRA argues that only the state can regulate firearms, based on a 1996 state Supreme Court ruling.
The NRA's lawyer did not return a call for comment last night.
Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan yesterday lifted her earlier injunction against three of the laws: one making it a crime to not report a lost or stolen gun within 48 hours; a second that allows police to confiscate guns with a judge's approval from people considered a danger to themselves or others; and a third that prohibits gun possession by people subject to protection-from-abuse orders.
But Greenspan made permanent her injunction against laws limiting handgun purchases to one a month and banning semiautomatic guns with clips that hold 10 or more rounds.
Nutter argues that the city needs those measures to stem the tide of illegal guns on the streets.
The city ultimately hopes to take this fight to a higher court to provoke reconsideration of the 1996 state Supreme Court ruling that killed the city's last attempt at gun-control laws.
City Solicitor Shelley Smith stressed that the legal fight was far from over.
"It's certainly my expectation that this is going to the state Supreme Court," she said.
Even though the city may now be able to enforce some of the laws, there may be another roadblock at home. District Attorney Lynne Abraham has said that all five of the laws are unconstitutional and that she won't enforce them. *