GOP Will Try Again to Let NRA Sue Pennsylvania Cities

Background |

Background |

If at first you don’t succeed…

A Republican legislator is trying to revive a bill that would allow third-party organizations like to NRA to sue Pennsylvania towns and cities for having overly restrictive gun laws. An earlier version of the law was struck down in March by a Commonwealth Court panel that said the legislature had passed the bill in an unconstitutionally opaque fashion.

“The court’s decision was based merely on technical procedural rules, meaning that the substance of the legislation itself was never called into question,” Rep. Mark Keller, a Republican from South Central Pennsylvania, said in a memorandum to colleagues. Read more »

Court Strikes Down Law That Let NRA Sue Pa. Cities


A Commonwealth Court has struck down the new state law that let the NRA — and other third parties — sue Pennsylvania cities for their gun restrictions.

The law is “unconstitutional and void,” the court said in Thursday morning’s ruling. Read more »

Court Weighs Challenge to NRA-Friendly Gun Law



Judges in Pittsburgh on Wednesday heard a challenge to a new state law that lets third-party groups like the NRA sue cities if their gun ordinances are more restrictive than state law.

The law’s challengers, including Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County, contend that it was passed improperly: The state constitution requires legislative bills to be about a single subject; the gun bill was passed, though, by inserting its language in a bill originally concerning scrap metal theft. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week: The NRA Lost Face


Do you have a gun? Do you think I have a gun? Most media reports would have you believe that ever since President Obama’s election, we Americans have been arming ourselves to the teeth. But a new survey by the well-respected, independent research organization NORC shows just the opposite. Only 22 percent of us today own guns, down from 31 percent in 1985. So come out of that bunker. The NRA’s desperate efforts to overturn gun-control ordinances in cities like Lancaster and Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are the death throes of a lobbying bully that knows its time is coming to an end. For which citizens from Newtown, Connecticut, to Aurora, Colorado, gratefully say: Amen.


Here’s the Lawsuit the NRA Just Filed Against Philadelphia


As promised, the National Rifle Association has filed suit against the City of Philadelphia for “for refusing to comply with a state law that prohibits local governments from enacting gun control ordinances,” according to a statement from the organization today.

The organization is filing suit against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster under the provisions of House Bill 80, which was signed into law in Harrisburg last year and allows membership organizations to sue municipalities where gun regulations  are more restrictive than state law. “The cities of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Lancaster have openly defied state law for decades.  They continue to willfully violate the law and insist on politically grandstanding at taxpayers’ expense,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative said in the statement.

The suit has just posted in the Philadelphia court system. We present it below as a public service. Stay tuned for more.

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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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Gun Debate About to Flare Up in Pennsylvania Senate


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.

Read more »

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