HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Resuming a long fight over local gun laws, Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives on Tuesday approved veto-destined legislation that is designed to help gun owners and gun-rights organizations force cities to repeal firearms restrictions.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled chamber, 124-79, but Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has promised to veto it. Wolf also issued a veto threat in 2016 to a similar bill that passed the state Senate.READ MORE: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For Pittsburgh Area; High Winds, Potential Hail Expected
Under the bill, a gun owner or a gun-rights organization would have standing in court to sue municipalities over firearms ordinances that they contend are more restrictive than state law. A city whose gun ordinance is struck down in court could also be ordered to pay damages.
Similar provisions were once law, signed in 2014 by then-Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican. But the law was later struck down in court on a technicality.READ MORE: Consumer Alert Issued For Italian Village Pizza/Shake Shop In Pleasant Hills
Pennsylvania has long prohibited its municipalities from enforcing firearms ordinances that regulate the ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation of guns or ammunition. But gun-rights groups complain municipalities often ignore the decades-old prohibition by approving their own gun restrictions.
Court precedent has held that someone only has standing to sue if they were prosecuted for violating such an ordinance, and gun-rights groups say that holding makes it difficult to challenge illegal local firearms ordinances.
The state Supreme Court has a case in front of it challenging that precedent.MORE NEWS: Police: 2 Young Kids Critically Hurt In Quadruple Shooting
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