Showdown over local gun laws looms in Pennsylvania

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 18, 2016 3:56 AM

FILE PHOTO: 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)

(Harrisburg) -- State lawmakers are moving closer to an election-season showdown with Democratic Governor Tom Wolf over a bill designed to make it easier for gun owners and organizations like the National Rifle Association to challenge cities' firearms ordinances in court.

The GOP-controlled Senate has approved the proposal.

The Republican-controlled House must still pass the measure, but Wolf has said he opposes it.

It is nearly identical to a version thrown out by the state's highest court in June on technical grounds after former Republican Governor Tom Corbett signed it in 2014.

At the time, a Keystone Crossroads analysis found at least 93 municipalities changed their local firearms regulations to avoid litigation costs.

The proposal expands the definition of who has standing to file legal challenges to local gun ordinances to include any gun owner or membership organization, such as the NRA.

In general, Pennsylvania bars its municipalities from enforcing firearms ordinances that are stronger than state law.


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