Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 671 by 134-53 vote, and the Senate passed Senate Bill 5 by a 34-16 vote, and defeated dozens of amendments which would have seriously weakened the intent of the legislation. As previously reported, these bills seek to strengthen Pennsylvania’s current preemption laws to ensure that firearm and ammunition laws are consistent throughout the Keystone state. Both bills will now cross paths as they make their way to the next chamber for consideration.
State firearms preemption was enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature over three decades ago to avoid the possibility of a complex patchwork of regulations across the state which make it difficult for responsible firearm owners to ensure they are following the law. However, in recent years many local governments have enacted gun control ordinances in violation of this current law.
Citizens with no criminal intent should not be placed in jeopardy of running afoul of local restrictions they don`t even know exist simply because they have crossed from one municipality to another. Gun owners continue to be unduly burdened by local ordinances which violate the current state firearm preemption law. HB 671/ SB 5 would correct this problem by ensuring laws regarding firearms and ammunition are uniform across the state.
Similar legislation was signed by former Governor Tom Corbett in 2014 but was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year for a violation of the “single subject” rule for legislative process. It is imperative that HB 671/ SB 5 passes this year to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen across the state are protected by its strengthened preemption laws.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated as this legislation progresses through the legislative process.