AG Kane Won’t Defend Pa. Gun Law That Allows NRA Suits

Attorney General Kathleen Kane gestures to Gov. Tom Corbett while speaking at a news conference in Harrisburg in June.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane gestures to Gov. Tom Corbett while speaking at a June news conference about healthcare.

Kathleen Kane has decided not to defend a recently passed gun law that allows lawsuits against municipalities that enact gun laws harsher than state laws.

“The attorney general determined it would be more efficient and in the best interest of the commonwealth for the Office of General Counsel to handle this matter,” Kane spokeswoman Renee Martin said. She is leaving it up to Gov. Tom Corbett’s staff. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is sworn in as governor on January 20th.

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State Poised to Strike Casino Firearms Ban

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The State of Pennsylvania appears ready to strike down its longstanding casino firearms ban.

Casinos would still be able to bar guns from their premises, under the new rule to be considered next week by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. But the current blanket ban — in effect since 2008 — appears to be illegal under a 2011 state law restricting the ability of state agencies to regulate firearms.

Don’t expect Pennsylvania casinos to become a shooting gallery, however.

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Officials Sue State Over New Gun Law

A group of local, state, and federal officials today announced a challenge to the new Pennsylvania law that lets the NRA sue cities for restrictive gun ordinances.

The suit was filed by State. Sens Daylin Leach, Larry Farnese, and Vincent Hughes, along with State Reps. Cherelle Parker and Edward Gainey, joined by the cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster.
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Interview: Jim MacMillan of GunCrisis.org

Photo: Shutterstock.com

Photo: Shutterstock.com

GunCrisis.org announced this week it is “curtailing” its operations due to funding shortfall. While the curtailed site will still offer the occasional reports and analysis, the announcement marks the end of an era in which the site tried to document every shooting — and every murder — that occurred in Philadelphia.

Jim MacMillan, a former Daily News photographer, was one of the site’s founders. He talked with Philly Mag about the decision to pull back. Some excerpts:
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Anti-Mumia, Pro-Gun Bills Pass in Harrisburg

State Capitol in Harrisburg

Two high-profile bills passed major tests in the Legislature on Wednesday — a bill designed to reduce “victim anguish” caused by criminals like Mumia Abu-Jamal passed the Senate, while a bill that gives the NRA the right to sue cities for gun laws that differ from the state’s passed the House.

Gov. Corbett has promised to sign both if they pass the full legislature.

First, the anti-Mumia bill. AP reports:

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Gun Debate About to Flare Up in Pennsylvania Senate

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The gun debate seems likely to get heated today in the Pennsylvania Senate.

We told you last week about House Bill 1243, which would give the NRA standing to sue local cities and municipalities for having gun laws more restrictive than allowed by the state. When Democrats promised to weigh that bill down with a number of amendments, Republicans withdrew it last week from consideration from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Instead, they’ve taken it directly to the Senate floor. Democrats who oppose the bill say Republicans plan to amend it today to House Bill 1746 — a bill otherwise designed to offer new protections to the state’s domestic violence victims — then “call the question” immediately, so that no debate on that amendment, or additional amendments, will be allowed: Only a quick up-or-down vote that Republicans seem likely to win on straight party representation.

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