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: Eagle Escapes From Pittsburgh's National Aviary, Whereabouts Currently Unknown
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: Steelers LB T.J. Watt Downgraded Due To Injury, Will Not Play Sunday Against Cincinnati Bengals
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: Port Authority Approves 5-Year Agreement To Let Pitt, Chatham Students, Faculty And Staff Ride For Free
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