Pennsylvania high court weighs challenge to local gun laws

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 9, 2016 4:27 AM

Tom Young, of Gettysburg, tests the bolt action of a .270 hunting rifle while shopping for Christmas gifts on Wednesday morning Dec. 16, 2015 at Redding's Hardware in Gettysburg. (Photo: Shane Dunlap, The Evening Sun)

(Philadelphia) --  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to review a law designed to make it easier for gun owners and organizations like the National Rifle Association to challenge local gun-control measures.

The state's Republican-led Legislature had passed a law that let organizations like the NRA challenge local gun-control measures instead of restricting the lawsuits to affected gun owners. 

The Commonwealth Court overturned the law, but not before dozens of municipalities repealed gun-control laws. 

Now the issue moves to the high court in arguments Wednesday.

Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of hunting and gun ownership.

Pennsylvania's Act 192 prompted about 100 municipalities to repeal their gun ordinances, in an effort to reduce their exposure to lawsuits.

Democratic mayors in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and groups like CeaseFirePA have pushed gun-control measures to combat violence.

Some of those that didn't were sued, including Lower Merion Township and the cities of Philadelphia, Lancaster, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.

The NRA itself didn't sue Harrisburg, but it backed the state law that opened the door for litigation.

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