The fight over gun laws is getting personal in central PA. The state supreme court decided to hear the case over Act 192 on Friday, meaning that the gun lawsuits facing local cities are still ongoing.
Lancaster started a legal defense fund to allow people to donate money to fight the lawsuit from the NRA. The lawsuits challenge cities' gun laws on the basis that they're illegal, because only the state can make gun laws.
Now, a lawyer and blogger, Joshua Prince, is pushing to get the names of everyone who donated to the city's legal defense fund. Prince says he wants to see if people or entities from outside the state donated, attempting to influence local politics.
"It may end up being that we're seeing residents or entities from other states contributing and attempting to influence local politics, and I think the residents of the Commonwealth should be informed of that, if that's the case," says Prince.
He says if he gets the names, he will publish them online.
"If I get the names and the information, I will put it out on our blog so that the residents of the Commonwealth can know exactly who is donating to the different legal defense funds," says Prince.
Mayor Rick Gray (D) of Lancaster says that information shouldn't be public and he will not release the names unless forced to by a court.
"You have to ask yourself why this individual from Reading wants to know who makes contributions to a fund in Lancaster to defend the people of the city of Lancaster," says Gray. "You have to ask yourself why he would want those names."
Some have suggested it's because of intimidation. The Office of Open Records ruled that the names should be released. Under the Right to Know law, motivation doesn't matter. The city is appealing the decision to the Court of Common Pleas.
"The Right to Know law is very clear that agencies can't ask the motivation of a requester in wanting certain information, and it's not something that can factor into our decision on appeals either," says director of Open Records, Erik Arneson.