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Chester County Press

Kennett Township residents, your voices have been heard

11/12/2014 10:50AM ● By J. Chambless

On Nov. 5, those who were in attendance at the Kennett Township Board of Supervisors work session witnessed a phenomenon that is as rare in local politics as a comet in the sky. They saw local politicians taking a stand on their behalf.

By a unanimous vote, board member Robert Hammaker, Richard Leff and chairman Scudder Stevens passed a motion to authorize its township solicitor David Sander to enter the township as a party plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as Speaker of the House Samuel Smith, Lieutenant Governor James Cawley and Governor Jim Corbett.

With that, the township will soon attach its name to a lawsuit filed by State senators Daylin Leach, minority chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Larry Farnese, Vincent Hughes; State representatives Cherelle Parker and Edward Gainey; as well as the cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster. The suit opposes a recent vote by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate that approves House Bill 80, one that Gov. Corbett has publicly stated that he intends to sign the bill into law, which significantly amends the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act. The bill gives the right for the National Rifle Association [NRA] and other groups to sue townships and municipalities that have enacted firearms ordinances that are stricter than state firearm laws.

The NRA-backed bill threatens to water down any firearms legislation enacted in municipalities, townships and cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. In Kennett Township, the law would severely impact two firearm ordinances in the township -- Ordinances 212 and 225 -- that regulate the use of firearms in the township.

The powers of the Second Amendment notwithstanding, the passage of House Bill 80 is the legislative equivalent of a violent street crime, and it shows an utter disregard -- a contempt, to put it plainly -- for the safety of Pennsylvania residents. Now, Kennett Township is about to join a well-established and cohesive effort to overturn the bill, a decision we roundly applaud.

It is less important for the residents of Kennett Township -- particularly those who helped influence the passing of these two ordinances designed to protect them -- to monitor the ultimate course that this lawsuit will take, as it is in simply knowing that their township's leaders have given them not only their time and their effort, but their respect.