Abraham slams Krasner for dusting off unenforced gun law

Steve Tawa
January 24, 2019 - 12:44 pm
Larry Krasner

Cherri Gregg/KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham is slamming the current DA, Larry Krasner, for resurrecting a 10-year-old gun law. She calls the move grandstanding, and she says it will definitely be thrown out when challenged in court. 

When City Council passed a package of gun bills in 2008, it included a measure that required Philadelphians to report to police within 24-hours the loss or theft of a firearm. Abraham testified against all of them, she says.

"Not because I didn't think they were good ideas, but because the legislature told me in no uncertain terms that the city of Philadelphia — and every other city in the Commonwealth — has no authority whatsover to pass gun legislation," she said.

RELATED: Philly DA to start enforcing law requiring report of lost or stolen guns

Abraham says it's clear from a 1996 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that only the state can regulate gun ownership.

"It's called pre-emption," she said. "The city of Philadelphia can pass gun laws, but they can't enforce them."

During previous court hearings, the National Rifle Association also argued for an injunction to keep the city from enforcing the lost or stolen gun law, and in Abraham's words, "it's a tough sell" to get the Pennsylvania State Legislature to change it.

"This is just an observation and truism — the state is still, with regard to guns, a red state. It's a very heavily supported NRA state. It might be the second-largest NRA supporter, behind Texas," she said. 

What will become of the expected challenge to the old gun law that hasn't been enforced since 2009?

"You're gonna have a test case, and the courts are going to throw it out. Guarantee ya," she said. "I'll buy you lunch, if I'm wrong."

A spokesman for Krasner said the law "does not regulate guns, it regulates people." He said Abraham never tried to test the law by enforcing it, and the current DA is "going to at least give it a shot."