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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2023 10:41 AM
From: Representative Dan Frankel
To: All House members
Subject: Empowering Local Governments to Protect their Residents
In the wake of the attack on the synagogues in the Tree of Life building, Pittsburgh’s local leadership tried to protect its residents by prohibiting the use of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines within city limits. Despite overwhelming public support for the restrictions, they were blocked by Pennsylvania’s preemption laws. 
Philadelphia, likewise, tried to keep children and their families safe by enacting local ordinances to keep guns and other deadly weapons out of playgrounds and recreation centers. They were also prevented from doing so by state preemption statutes. 
Incredibly, our communities in Pennsylvania are barred from doing anything at all to prevent gun violence. They cannot ban weapons of war, they cannot require firearm owners let law enforcement know when their guns go missing, and they cannot require adults in homes with children to store their firearms safely. All because of a successful firearm industry effort nearly 50 years ago to block communities from regulating firearms.

Pennsylvania’s municipalities have differing needs when it comes to firearm safety, and locally accountable leaders should be able to address those needs through local regulations. My bill would simply allow our communities to make their own rules regarding deadly firearms, just as they do for fire prevention or traffic regulation.

I will again be introducing two pieces of legislation to provide municipal and county governments the latitude needed in state law to enact local ordinances that reflect residents’ desire to balance Second Amendment rights broadly with public safety.  
These changes will expressly permit the ability of local governments to adopt ordinances that create more secure communities and prevent future tragedies within their municipal borders. I hope you will join me in this effort to keep our communities safe. 

Document #1

Description: The first piece of legislation removes existing preemption language from the Second Class County Code. 

Document #2

Description: The second piece of legislation will remove existing preemption language from both Title 18 (Crimes) and Title 53 (Municipalities).