Last month, 13 Representatives and both Senators from Pennsylvania stood up and told the Supreme Court that the Second Amendment is not only an individual right, but it is a fundamental right that must be applied to the state and local governments. They made clear that the right is not one that can be ignored by states or municipalities that may try to ban guns. But two members of the Pennsylvania delegation have decided to stand on the wrong side of history and oppose the right to bear arms.
Congressmen Bob Brady (D, PA-01) and Chakah Fattah (D, PA-02) joined a brief filed in favor of upholding a ban on handguns. In it, the Congressmen made the bizarre arguments that federal restrictions on fully automatic firearms dating from the 1930s clearly show that the Chicago handgun ban is constitutional. To further their “evidence,” they cite previous federal laws that merely acknowledge the existence of state firearms laws – such as those banning the use of firearms by violent felons – as reason to consider an outright ban to be legal. They seem to forget the Court made clear in Heller that bans are not merely legally debatable restrictions.
The following Pennsylvania Representatives also refused to stand up for Second Amendment rights, but they also avoided signing on to an outright attack on them:
- Kathleen Dahlkemper (D, PA-03)
- Joe Sestak (D, PA-07)
- Allyson Schwartz (D, PA-13)
- Mike Doyle (D, PA-14)