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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: November 12, 2013 09:14 AM
From: Representative Mark K. Keller
To: All House members
Subject: Preemption Bill
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation providing for better enforcement of Pennsylvania’s current state preemption over local firearms and ammunition regulations.

Commonwealth law already provides, in most circumstances, for preemption of local firearm laws. Section 6120 of the Crimes Code specifically prohibits local regulation of the ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components in conflict with statewide law. This section implements the statewide constitutional right recognized by Article I, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Despite this, in recent years, local governments have been passing ordinances regulating firearms in defiance of Pennsylvania law.

Where no uniform state laws are in place, the result can be chaotic as restrictions change from one local jurisdiction to another. Where so many different ordinances are allowed to exist, citizens with no criminal intent are placed in danger of breaking restrictions where they don’t know they exist. Furthermore, it is unreasonable to require residents of Pennsylvania and citizens passing through from other states to memorize every firearm ordinance as they pass through each local jurisdiction. The end result is that citizens can be forced to incur significant expenses to hire attorneys to challenge these illegal and unconstitutional ordinances.

This legislation will correct the problem. Specifically, this legislation would deter local jurisdictions from imposing illegal ordinances by providing that any party who successfully challenges one of these illegal local firearm ordinances will be entitled to reimbursement from the offending jurisdiction for their reasonable attorneys fees and costs to bring the lawsuit, and any loss of income suffered because of the illegal ordinance.

Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2011