Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Pennsylvania Court Blocks Challenges to Local Gun Laws; NRA Plans Appeal

Friday, June 25, 2010

On June 25, a three-judge panel of Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court issued a ruling that makes it harder for gun owners to challenge local gun laws that were passed in violation of the state’s firearm preemption law.  This was the second such ruling in just over a year.

Pennsylvania’s preemption law, like the laws in 47 other states, is supposed to stop cities, counties and towns from passing a patchwork of inconsistent laws that might trip up gun owners who travel or relocate within the state.  But an increasing number of local governments have recently pushed beyond its limits.

The June 25 decision involved a Pittsburgh ordinance that makes it a crime not to report the loss or theft of a firearm to law enforcement officials.  NRA opposed the ordinance, not just because it could allow the government to victimize a person who’s already suffered a serious crime, but also because the city had no authority to pass it in the first place.

The court didn’t get to that issue, however.  Instead, it found that the plaintiffs—Pittsburgh gun owners who live in areas where residential burglaries are common—had no standing to sue, because they had suffered no “direct and immediate harm.”  According to the opinion by President Judge Bonnie Brigance Leadbetter, the possibility of a plaintiff having his or her gun stolen and being fined for not reporting the theft is “remote and speculative.”

That was the same reasoning that was used to reject an earlier challenge to a similar law in Philadelphia, but in the Pittsburgh case it drew a strong dissent from Judge P. Kevin Brobson.  Judge Brobson argued that the ruling makes it impossible for a citizen to challenge a law unless he or she is willing to go to court and either admit to violating the law, or promise to violate the law in the future.  As Judge Brobson put it, the only way to bring an effective challenge “would be willful noncompliance with a criminal ordinance.  This is no option at all.”

NRA agrees, and plans to seek a review of this decision by the full Commonwealth Court.  Beyond that, NRA will take whatever steps are necessary to change state preemption laws—either through the courts or through the legislature, in Pennsylvania and anywhere else—to protect gun owners’ rights from schemes by anti-gun local politicians.

TRENDING NOW
Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Joe Biden: Hero Who Ended Texas Rampage Shouldn’t Have Had His Gun

Most Americans consider Stephen Willeford a hero for bravely ending the rampage of a crazed murderer at a Texas church … but not former Vice President Joe Biden. During a national television appearance on Monday, ...

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Muzzleloaders Now Targeted by “Giffords” Gun Prohibition Lobby

It didn’t take long after the events in Las Vegas, Nevada for gun control advocates to resort to their usual tactic of blaming hardware for the acts of an evil man. Numerous anti-gun bills were ...

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

News  

Friday, November 17, 2017

With ‘Firearm’ Offenses up 27-percent, UK Holds National Gun Surrender

Anti-gun advocates like Gun Control Network Chair Gillian Marshall-Andrews tout the United Kingdom’s longstanding firearms restrictions, which include a near total ban on handguns, as the “gold standard” of gun control. In recent years, UK ...

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Terry McAuliffe’s Halfway Heroism

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has recently been distinguished by Governing magazine as one of its “Public Officials of the Year.” According to the magazine, Gov. McAuliffe claims his “proudest single achievement” in office has been restoring ...

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gun Controllers Choose to Ignore Cases of Good Guys with Guns

Less than three hours after the tragedy at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was looking to score political points. As is his custom, Murphy fired off a tweet admonishing his ...

When Gun Control Fails

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, July 21, 2017

When Gun Control Fails

Gun control is pushed as a strategy to keep Americans safe in their homes, schools and workplaces. It is presented as the key component in safer streets, neighborhoods and families. But what happens when gun ...

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

News  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dianne Feinstein Wants to Ban Commonly Owned Semi-Autos, Again!

Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced S. 2095, which she is calling the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017. The 125-page firearm prohibition fever dream is perhaps the most far-reaching gun ban ever introduced in Congress.

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, November 3, 2017

This Man Did Not Write A Second (Class) Amendment

Courts are telling gun owners that they must choose between their Second Amendment-protected rights and their other constitutional rights. 

News  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Who Qualifies for the LEOSA Privilege?

Within my first week as an attorney at the National Rifle Association of America's Institute for Legislative Action I took a call on the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). I admittedly knew nothing about ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.