Laws & Rights
PA Town Tries & Fails to Zone Out Second Amendment
We see you, Robinson Township. You’re really not that slick.
For the most part, Pennsylvania is a very Second Amendment-friendly state. It’s the kind of place where kids get the first day of deer season off from school, no questions asked. But that doesn’t mean that individuals in certain areas won’t overstep their authority. Here’s a case in point that’s been a problem for three years now. An individual PA township, one judge, and one zoning officer are all trying to rewrite the rules to keep a gun range out of business–not because they did anything wrong, mind you. Just because. Today, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has announced yet another win in the case. How many times will the higher courts have to tell Robinson Township that they’re in the wrong? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we have the following from SAF’s Alan Gottlieb.
A federal court has granted a preliminary injunction in a case involving zoning restrictions designed to ban a gun range in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, the Second Amendment Foundation announced.
The case is known as Drummond LLC v. Robinson Township. Plaintiffs in the case are William Drummond, GPGC LLC and SAF. The lawsuit dates back to 2018, when plaintiffs sued the township and Zoning Officer Mark Dorsey, alleging violation of the Second and Fourteenth amendments.
“We’re happy with the judge’s ruling because this should signal an end to Mr. Drummond’s problems with Robinson Township,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Government simply cannot use zoning restrictions to put a business they don’t like out of business.
“The judge was forced to issue the ruling after twice having the case remanded back to her by the federal appeals court, where SAF and the other plaintiffs received favorable rulings that the case should proceed,” Gottlieb noted.
Under the judge’s order, “Defendants, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the injunction are enjoined from enforcing Robinson Township Zoning Ordinance Sections 311(D), 601, and 208, Table 208(A).”
In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn J. Horan noted, “Although the courts owe ‘substantial deference’ to local zoning decisions, restrictions on rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment…must still satisfy intermediate scrutiny…At this stage and for purposes of the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, the Township has not provided evidence that the challenged Ordinance provisions…in fact serve the asserted government interests of health, safety, and welfare.”
“Gun ranges are a necessary component in the exercise of Second Amendment rights,” Gottlieb observed. “Even Judge Horan recognized this in her ruling, where she quoted the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller that ‘The right to bear arms ‘implies something more than mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them; . . . it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms.’ In essence, the township was trying to zone out the Second Amendment.
“This court victory is important because it shows your Second Amendment rights don’t stop at your front door,” Gottlieb said. “It’s essential to our mission of winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time.”
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