Taking on Gun Safety Preemption in Pennsylvania


We filed our reply brief with the PA Supreme Court in our case taking on Firearm Preemption Laws

January 31, 2023–We filed a reply brief in our appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in our case taking on Pennsylvania’s state Firearm Preemption Laws, which prevent cities like Philadelphia or any other municipality from enacting their own local gun laws that have been demonstrated to save lives. We now await a scheduling order for oral argument at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Read the brief here.

By handcuffing local leaders and preventing them from taking common-sense action that their constituents demand (such as limiting handgun purchases to one per month), all while refusing to consider statewide measures to promote gun safety, our leaders in the General Assembly are violating the fundamental right to life and liberty for Pennsylvanians in communities that face endemic gun violence. This crisis disproportionately impacts low-income and minority communities—in 2022, 77% of shooting victims in Philadelphia were Black. We filed our case in October 2020 to take on this public health and civil rights crisis.

We are asking the court to reverse Commonwealth Court’s dismissal of our case in a plurality decision, and to send the case back to the lower court for trial. Read the briefs from respondents opposing our appeal–legislative leaders and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania—here, under “Appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.”

Along with co-counsel from Hogan Lovells, we are representing residents of Philadelphia and Allegheny County who have lost family members to gun violence and CeaseFirePA, joined as petitioners by the City of Philadelphia.

“Respondents do not, and cannot, dispute the enormity and disproportionality of the gun violence in Petitioners’ neighborhoods,” our brief reads. “Nor do Respondents seriously dispute that they have handcuffed police in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, forbidding enforcement of any local limits on firearms.” Read more about the case here.