Pa. Supreme Court Rules NRA-backed Law Unconstitutional
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday against a law that allowed gun owners and the National Rifle Association to sue local municipalities for their gun-control rules.
The court nixed Act 192, which allowed gun owners and organizations to challenge law regardless of whether or not it had directly affected or harmed them. It also allowed for the NRA and similar organizations to provide compensation for attorney fees in such cases.
The state Supreme Court upheld a decision made last year by the Commonwealth Court to overturn the law for violating state constitution.
The gun provision was added to a bill that involved criminalizing the theft of metals – which conflicted with the requirement that bills must deal with one subject.
“Act 192 was passed by the General Assembly without any public notice or debate, and would have flooded the courts with ‘advocacy’ litigation, even when the plaintiffs had no real legal stake in the case,” City Solicitor Sozi Tulante said in a statement released yesterday.
Philadelphia, Lancaster and Pittsburgh, as well as five Democratic legislators, sued state legislators in Commonwealth Court in 2014 on the grounds that Act 192 was unconstitutional. After the law took effect in January 2015, the NRA sued all three cities over their local gun laws.
The suits could now be dismissed.
Mayor Jim Kenney praised the state Supreme Court’s decision in a statement released Monday.
“This is a great victory for proper legislative procedure and for the ability of local governments to adopt common sense gun regulations without fear of financially crippling litigation,” Kenney said in the statement.
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