Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

PA: Scofflaw Governments May be Held to Account in PA
Gun Watch ^ | 19 March, 2014 | Dean Weingarten

Posted on 03/21/2014 6:44:33 AM PDT by marktwain

Pennsylvania has a state preemption statute that prevents local governments from creating a crazy patchwork of local firearm laws.  Such a patchwork would effectively chill the exercise of second amendment rights in the State.  From the Pennsylvania statutes:

(a)  General rule.--No county, municipality or township may in any manner regulate the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components when carried or transported for purposes not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.
The problem is that there are no teeth to the law, because there are no penalties imposed on local governments who violate it.   Consequently, there are over fifty local scofflaw governments in Pennsylvania.   From
State firearms preemption was enacted by the Pennsylvania Legislature to avoid the possibility of 2,639 separate firearm laws across the Commonwealth.  However, over recent years, nearly fifty local governments have enacted gun control ordinances in violation of the current state firearms preemption law.
House Bill 2011 has been proposed to remedy the situation.  It is the lastest version of similar bills that have been put forward over the last four years.
 Representative Mark Keller, R-Landisburg has sponsored the measure.  From
"Local governments have been passing ordinances regulating firearms in defiance of the state's Crimes Code, resulting in confusion for gun owners who don't know they are breaking the law," Keller said. "The end result is that citizens can be forced to incur significant expenses to hire attorneys to challenge these illegal and unconstitutional ordinances. My bill would correct the problem."
 The bill went from committee to the House yesterday, the 18th of March. 

Florida had a similar problem, and solved it with legislation that made local leaders personally accountable, and allowed for the recovery of legal costs.  This bill would not go as far.   It has no provision to apply penalties to local leaders.

The new law avoids the loophole that was found in Ohio's preemption law.  In Ohio, cities would wait until second amendment supporters spent time and legal resources to force a local government to repeal a law.  Then, just as it became clear that the second amendment supporters would win in court, the city repealed the law, allowing them no opportunity to collect their legal fees.

In HB 2011, if the law is repealed after a local government has been sued, they still have to pay the legal fees.  Of course, early in the process, legal fees are much reduced over what they would be if the case were contested in the courts.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; guncontrol; hb2011; pa; pennsylvania
Progressives only believe in the rule of law for other people.
1 posted on 03/21/2014 6:44:33 AM PDT by marktwain
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: marktwain

Easy to/change.
We had the same problem in Florida not so long ago with ever kooky liberal mayor making up their own laws.
Just put some teeth into the laws.

2 posted on 03/21/2014 8:12:03 AM PDT by bill1952 (taxes don't hurt the rich, they keep YOU from becoming rich.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

PA Constitution Section 21. The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

3 posted on 03/21/2014 8:27:46 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: bill1952

Gun rights violation costs city

November 20, 2010|Paul Carpenter

The taxpayers of Allentown just got stuck with an unnecessary $23,500 tab.

That may not be much in a city that treats tax money like the water flowing over the Hamilton Street Dam (proposed new budget: $88.5 million), but it might have been avoided if people paid to enforce the law could be persuaded to obey it themselves.

On Oct. 6, 2008, Jerry Corliss, a law-abiding citizen who then lived in Allentown, was carrying a Glock handgun in a holster when he visited the Home Depot store just off Lehigh Street. It appears that somebody there became hysterical over the idea that anyone not in government might exercise his or her right to bear arms.

Soon, according to court documents, Dale Stokes, an Allentown police officer, stormed into the store, detained Corliss for doing absolutely nothing illegal, searched him without a warrant and seized his pistol.

Corliss was not charged and the weapon was returned, but those actions clashed with both the Bill of Rights and the Pennsylvania Constitution, which will cost the city, or its insurance carrier, $23,500 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by Corliss, who now lives in Lebanon.

You would be amazed at how fast changes are made when it is their pocketbooks which are hit.

4 posted on 03/21/2014 8:29:51 AM PDT by Red in Blue PA (When Injustice becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty.-Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

As a Connecticuteur expatrioted back to Pennsylvanian - I can attest to this absurd handling of rights throughout various areas of the state.

The State constitution is pretty clear. The language was changed from the US 2nd amendment into something a bit more clear:

“The right to own and bear arms shall not be _questioned_.”

So the state had in the past changed it from Infringed to Questioned. Certainly admirable and encouraging, but areas of the state have completely trampled this notion.

I live in a solid conservative town in NEPA. We are surrounded by liberals on all sides, but we remain as a stong hold-out of decency and reasonable living.

Our town has a Sheriff. This sheriff is a champion of the people, and is VERY 2a friendly (He’s actually all Amendment friendly). We have a town police department that is peppered with gun-grabbers and jobbers alike. We have a state police contingent that passes through the area that is completely anti-gun. We also have several prisons in the area and the state is attempting to do what Connecticut has done : Relegate our Sheriff and Deputies to sole prison duties. A travesty.

Our “close” proximity to Philadelphia has most of us on edge. Philly is as far from us as CT is, but Philly is the basis of all of our laws, in reality. Harrisburg is another progressive wonderland where our policies are ACTUALLY born. Pittsburgh is as far separated from us as Los Angeles is.

From our local and state police we have a lot of officers who are “confused” about the laws - And don’t even bother to defend them constitutionally. They see a man walking along with a rifle across his back, and pull their guns on him. The Sheriffs understand that this guy is prolly just on his way to .. well who the hell cares (?) he has a right to do so so no explanation is necessary.

A few months ago we had a guy slip into the town meeting and shoot the place up. A citizen ended the attack with a studious shot to the center mass of the attacker, and life went on. There is no outcry in that area to ban guns (In fact, the end result was to evaluate the behavior of Zoning Committees, those of whom this attacker went after because they were telling him what to do with his homestead).

PA is surrounded by evil (NY, NJ, OH, MD, and points east) but the state itself is a bastion of hope and pride as we try our best to fight off the spread of the Progressive disease. In my area (Nestled up in the armpit of New York) sees a LOT more New Yorkers than Pennsylvanians. I’m the only one here from CT it seems. These people own vacation homes and try to change NY to make it another NY and those who expatriate from NY are actively involved in keeping Pennsylvania Pennsylvanian and leaving their (our) tyrannical states behind.

I had the same issues in Colorado - But a little different. Throughout Colorado were Californians coming in to destroy the place and turn it into another California. At least up here we have expats who are truly leaving their disgusting states in the rear-view mirror as they integrate into a more Free life.

5 posted on 03/21/2014 8:30:01 AM PDT by Celerity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

local officials MUST be held personally accountable. Otherwise it is business as usual, spending someone else’s money.

Loss of pension would be nice touch.

6 posted on 03/21/2014 12:00:50 PM PDT by School of Rational Thought
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: marktwain

7 posted on 03/21/2014 12:11:48 PM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson