Message from Mayor Gray: NRA Lawsuit

Yesterday, families of the victims in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School filed suit against the town of Newton and its school board for failure to protect school children from gun violence.

Today, the Virginia-based NRA filed suit against the City of Lancaster for trying to protect our citizens and visitors from gun violence. We believe it's reasonable -- and compliant with state law -- to require that people report a lost or stolen firearm within three days of discovering that it's missing. This common sense ordinance in no way imposes any type of hardship on any law abiding gun owner, and it’s the right thing to do.

It’s shameful that the gun lobby was able to influence the State legislature to pass a law that allows any national organization with a member in Pennsylvania to impose their agenda on our community. Lancaster has joined Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in challenging this State law on constitutional grounds. We refuse to be bullied into compromising the safety of the people of Lancaster. We believe we will win that lawsuit and we will defend our local ordinance against today's attempt by the NRA to intimidate us with this lawsuit. To the NRA leadership, its lobbyists, and its members, my message is simple: The City of Lancaster will not take away your gun if you own it and use it legally.

The fact that both victims of gun violence and the NRA are suing small, local municipalities is more than ironic. Indeed, this is the natural consequence of State and Federal lawmakers irresponsible pandering to alarmists who use fear to raise funds and recruit members. In both lawsuits, local communities and taxpayers are held accountable for this pandering and must bear the cost of defending reasonable and legal efforts to curb gun violence.

J. Richard Gray, mayor