Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Pennsylvania Trial Court Invalidates NRA-Backed Preemption Reforms, Jeopardizes Ongoing Lawsuits

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pennsylvania Trial Court Invalidates NRA-Backed Preemption Reforms, Jeopardizes Ongoing Lawsuits

An NRA-backed law passed in Pennsylvania last year to hold accountable local jurisdictions that were defying the state’s 40-year-old firearm preemption statute has been declared invalid by a Pennsylvania trial court. The court did not take issue with the terms of the amended law itself but with “the regularity of procedures employed by the General Assembly in enacting” it. Specifically, the court found the final version of the act did not comply with the state constitution’s requirement that legislation pertain only to a single subject and that bills not be altered or amended during the legislative process to change their original purpose.

The good news is that the exact same language, as it pertains to the state’s firearm preemption statute, should still be eligible for enactment in a later session of the legislature. The bad news is that a number of lawsuits had already been launched under the newly-amended law to hold rogue jurisdictions accountable. The court’s decision on the validity of the new law could delay or cast these suits into doubt. 

By way of background, the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1974 enacted a broad state firearm preemption law to prevent counties and municipalities from interfering with firearm-related conduct not prohibited by state law. This was meant to ensure that those who complied with state law as they moved about the Commonwealth with firearms would not unknowingly fall afoul of obscure or more restrictive local regulations. A number of court cases over the years invalidated local gun control laws under the statute and reinforced the state’s authority to occupy the field of firearms regulation, to the exclusion of regulation by counties and cities.

Despite this history, anti-gun officials of counties and cities insisted they would press forward with gun control, defying a warning from the Attorney General’s Office that doing so would be illegal. The ethically-challenged view under which these efforts proceeded was that as long as the laws weren’t actually enforced, no one would have the “standing” to challenge their validity under the state preemption law in court. Nevertheless, anti-gun local officials could still point to the presence of the laws on the books as evidence of their determination to fight “gun violence.” Meanwhile, people who were aware of the local regulations might be intimidated (under false pretenses) into obeying them anyway.

That unfortunate and cynical view of things eventually prevailed in court, as NRA sought to challenge illegal local gun control under the state preemption statute and was denied standing to bring the cases because no actual enforcement action had been threatened or initiated under the local laws. This in turn led to a years-long effort to amend Pennsylvania law to create a “pre-enforcement” standing provision for the existing firearm preemption statute. That effort finally succeeded (or so it seemed) last year with the passage of House Bill 80, which amended the preemption statute to authorize persons adversely affected by illegal local gun control, and groups that represent them, to bring lawsuits to challenge the illegal ordinances. 

Localities were warned to remove their non-conforming laws from the books after the amendments were passed, and HB 80 granted them a 60-day window to do so before the law took effect. Some jurisdictions complied. Others did not, however, leading NRA to initiate lawsuits under HB 80 against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster.

While the fate of those particular suits is still to be determined (for example, they might still be able to proceed under other theories of standing), NRA’s commitment to ensuring that Keystone residents and visitors are not harassed by illegal local gun control remains fully intact. Stay tuned to this page for further updates as the situation develops. 

 

 

TRENDING NOW
Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Biden’s Anti-gun Lies are Too Much Even for Legacy Press Fact Checkers

With President Joe Biden securely in office and the 2024 presidential election 43 months away, the mainstream press has determined it an acceptable time to expose the frequent fibber’s most flagrant falsehoods.

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

News  

Monday, April 19, 2021

Hunter Biden Memoir Among Mounting Evidence of Federal Gun Law Violations

As President Joe Biden and his Department of Justice concoct new firearm restrictions for ordinary law-abiding Americans, 

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.

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

News  

Monday, April 12, 2021

In New Executive Gun Control Push, Biden Seems to Throw Obama, and Himself, Under the Bus

At Biden's recent Rose Garden ceremony, where he announced his latest assault on the Second Amendment, he lied a number of times, and garbled the name of the federal agency tasked with enforcing federal gun ...

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday, April 15, 2021

New Jersey: Gov. Murphy Announces Drastic Gun Control Agenda

Thursday morning, Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference to unveil yet another gun control package in the Garden State.  

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry Legislation

Monday, April 19, 2021

Louisiana: Senate Committee Passes Constitutional Carry Legislation

Today, Senate Judiciary C Committee passed Constitutional Carry legislation, Senate Bill 118, by a 3 to 2 vote.  

Nevada: Assembly Passes Ban on Home-Built Firearms

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Nevada: Assembly Passes Ban on Home-Built Firearms

Yesterday, the Assembly voted 26-16 to pass an amended version of Assembly Bill 286, to end the centuries old practice of making firearms for personal use.

North Carolina: House to Hear Pistol Permit Repeal Language

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

North Carolina: House to Hear Pistol Permit Repeal Language

Today, at 3:00PM, the House Judiciary 4 Committee is going to hear an amendment to House Bill 398, to add language legalizing acquiring handguns without having to first apply for a permit.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

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.

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Bill to Protect 2A Rights in Emergencies

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

West Virginia: Gov. Justice Signs Bill to Protect 2A Rights in Emergencies

Today, Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 458 into law. It prohibits the state, government officials and agencies, or local governments, from restricting the lawful carrying, sale, or use of firearms and ammunition during states of emergency ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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..