The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday against a law that allowed gun owners and the National Rifle Association to sue local municipalities for their gun-control laws that conflicted with a citizens constitutional rights.
Pennsylvania Act 192 allowed gun owners and organizations to challenge laws regardless of whether or not it had directly affected or harmed themselves or their organization. The law allowed the NRA and similar organizations to provide compensation for attorney fees to the plaintiffs in such cases or sue the governments themselves. Now that the law has been repealed some local lawmakers are acting quickly to trample their citizen’s Second Amendment rights before lawmakers in both the House and Senate can introduce bills that would once again permit the NRA to sue.
Act 192 took effect in January 2015. The NRA quickly took legal action against Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster for their local gun laws. The NRA successfully sued Philadelphia that year.
The Act was repealed by the Supreme court, saying it was passed improperly. As soon as the law was repealed earlier this month several local lawmakers attempted to pass laws to push through local gun control ordinances in the hopes that the financial burden would dissuade pro-gun groups from pursuing the lawsuits.
Allentown, for example plans to reinstate an ordinance that required gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons to police within 24 hours, which they claimed to be an attempt to crack down on straw buyers who purchase guns legally and sell them to criminals.
The NRA released a statement reminding local municipalities that, despite Act 192 being repealed, many local ordinances limiting a citizens Second Amendment rights are still unconstitutional and highly illegal. The NRA released the following statement on the issue.
In response to a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, several local Pennsylvania politicians announced their intent to enact or continue to enforce local gun control laws. These politicians are either seriously misinformed about the effect of the court’s ruling or they intend to knowingly violate Pennsylvania law because they think there will be little, if any, recourse to their actions.
To combat the threat to a citizen’s Second Amendment rights lawmakers in both the House and Senate have introduced bills that will reinstate the NRA’s right to sue. Pro-gun lawmakers and groups are hoping the laws will be passed before too much damage can be done.