For over three decades, Pennsylvania’s local governments have been barred from passing a patchwork quilt of local firearms regulations.The preemption statute had no provisions for penalties or enforcement. It was presumed that local governments would follow the law. That was a bad assumption.

Over 50 local governments have made a mockery of the rule of law, passing restrictive and illegal local firearm ordinances in Pennsylvania.

In 2014, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted a firearms preemption enforcement law. Affected private individuals and organizations could sue local governments for damages. The law passed by large, veto-proof majorities. It was signed by Governor Corbett.

The law was opposed by the political class in large urban centers such as Philadelphia. In a bizarre turn, the Pennsylvania AG, Kathleen Kane, refused to enforce the law, and aided the cities in challenging the law in court.

In 2016, the state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature had violated the state constitutional requirement for “single issue” statutes. On April 19, 2017, a replacement bill passed the House Judiciary committee by a 20-5 vote.

The current bill, HB 671, is essentially the same as the legislation that was struck down. From state.pa.us:

§ 6120. Limitation on the regulation of firearms and ammunition.

* * *

(a.2) Relief.–A person adversely affected by an ordinance, a resolution, regulation, rule, practice or any other action promulgated or enforced by a county, municipality or township prohibited under subsection (a) or 53 Pa.C.S. § 2962(g) (relating to limitation on municipal powers) may seek declaratory or injunctive relief and actual damages in an appropriate court.

The new enforcement law seems likely to pass again in 2017. The legislature will be careful to follow all the procedural requirements. Unfortunately, a Democrat, Tom Wolf is the Governor.

No doubt Governor Wolf will veto the reform bill. His voter base is in the urban centers. The urban center’s political establishments have shown a strong desire to continue to violate the preemption law.

Republicans hold large majorities in the PA House and Senate: 123 to 83 in the House, and 31-19 in the Senate. The only hope for passage: if enough “blue dog” Democrats cross the aisle to override a veto.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

20 Responses to Pennsylvania Firearm Preemption Law Enforcement Bill Doomed?

  1. Kathleen Kane is now where she belongs, prison (I hope she has not been left out). Tom Wolfe lied to voters to get elected, big surprise. Just remember, a politician with a ‘D’ is always more Dangerous than one without. PA is surrounded by communist states that I hope don’t ruin it.

    • You beat me to it, she’s where she belongs:

      “Sentencing for her case took place on October 24, 2016, where she received a term of 10–23 months in prison.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathleen_Kane#Trial.2C_conviction.2C_and_resignation_from_office

      At a minimum, until about August, this year.

      When she finally re-appears, she will be a convicted felon, dis-barred from being a lawyer, and divorced.

      Couldn’t have happened to a nicer (Slur pro-actively deleted)…

      *snicker*

        • “Her & Hitlery should be cell mates.”

          Something may yet come of that. The ‘Foundation’ has yet to be mined for malfeasance. Who knows? 🙂

          Kane’s not gonna be having much fun when she gets out, convicted felon will make gainful employ tough.

          She really screwed up with being divorced. Her ex has a family business that does rather well.

          Reap what you sow, Kathy…

      • There will be a dozen liberal NGO’s all trying to pull her onto their payroll. Many of them receiving federal funds. She will be a victim of conservative persecution and a hero in leftist circle jerks.

  2. Private damages AND attorney fees for the denial of civil rights against the government subdivision AND any local official enforcing the offending laws will quickly solve this problem.

    P.S. The House National Reciprocity includes damages for interference with interstate concealed carry.

    • The GOP holds large majorities, but not a two-thirds in the House.

      In the Senate, the GOP’s majority is 34 – 16, a veto override requires 34 votes, so they have enough votes there, assuming the GOP sticks together.

      In the House, on the other hand, the GOP’s majority is 121 – 81 (one seat vacant), a veto override requires 136 votes. They’d need the GOP to stick together, and round up 15 votes from the Democrats.

  3. These days, and long before these days, ‘democrat’ = ‘socialist’. There is a difference between social programs and socialist rule. There is a very good chance we will yet find out what that difference is. The ‘news media’ is wholly owned and operated by the socialist party. (my opinion) Half of the population, at least, has been educated by the socialist party system over the years. Labels aside, it comes down to The Constitution, or rule by personal agenda. In other words a dictator. The promise of universal slavery is the promise of freedom from individual responsibility.

  4. How about fining the enforcers ?
    If a DA or LEO charges an otherwise law abiding citizen for disobeying a pre-empted law, the DA or LEO should be subjected to a $100,000 fine for each occurrence.

  5. I live in SW PA. I also happen to work in a gun store. It is amazing how overwhelmingly pro gun my home state is with the exception of the large urban cities such as Pittsburgh, Philly, etc., etc. For some reason though, we keep electing the most liberal progressive asshole governors on the face of the earth. It used to be because PA was such a big union state, but those days are over. I honestly cannot understand how these douchebags keep getting elected.

    • Because Elmer Fudd doesn’t bother to vote.

      Pennsylvania had 3 Democrats elected to the State Supreme Court in 2015. Control of the Supreme Court was turned over to the Democrats. Hardly anyone showed up to vote (27% turnout).

      Elmer better wake up.

  6. There must be some legal loophole through which we can sue politicians who fail to follow the laws and, especially, those who violate their oaths of office.

    In California all the politicians pushing gun controls which violate the 2nd Amendment, 1st Amendment (regarding the 2nd), and regulating gun shops out of business, are in violation of the oath of office contained within the California state Constitution: “I _____________________ do solemnly swear to protect and defend the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic”. Further, those same politicians are discriminating against people based on race, sex, occupation, age, religion, etc, in so far that the gun controls enacted economically deprive members of the state population of their ability to afford to purchase firearms and ammo, to afford training, and to afford licensing, thus denying them the protection of the 2nd Amendment. The same oath of office applies to judges and lots more. Finally, their conduct is an open act of denial of representation of specific groups based upon their age, race, political persuasion, sex, etc.

    I find it hard to believe that the NRA-ILA, and others, have not taken this path. Hit the suckers in the wallets and freedom, and I would guess they might take another view. What we need is a Justice Department which goes after these thugs for violating the Constitution.

    • “What we need is a Justice Department which goes after these thugs for violating the Constitution.”

      That is exactly what we need … and exactly what we are missing. Local governments who enforce laws which blatantly contradict state preemption laws are violating our civil rights under color of law … a federal felony.

  7. Kane is now a convicted criminal. But while in office she fucked non resident permit holders and now requires out of state residents to get a home permit before a PA non resident permit.
    I’m glad she is in jail and I hope they slice hotdogs diaganogly in her facility.

  8. Correction to the story – the GOP’s majorities as stated are incorrect. The current makeup of the PA General Assembly is as follows:

    Senate: 34 Republican, 16 Democratic, 0 vacant

    House: 121 Republican, 81 Democratic, 1 vacant

    The GOP has a two-thirds majority in the Sentate, but only by a single vote. The GOP is 15 votes short of a two-thirds majority in the House.

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