Thursday, October 23, 2014

PA House Moves to Spank Scofflaw Governments, Concurs with HB80 (preemption enforcement)

Every one of the 50 states has some kind of firearms preemption law.   This makes perfect sense, as otherwise each town, county, and local government could enact a local ordinance to invalidate your right to keep and bear arms.   You could easily be placed in jail for an inadvertent violation of an ordiance that you never knew existed, just because you crossed an invisible political boundary.

Pennsylvania has such a law, and it is a well thought out example.  There is only one problem; the means to enforce it is weak.   To prevent local governments form flouting the rule of law, Pennsylvania has passed a simple revision:  If a local government violates the law, they can be sued, and they have to pay the legal fees of the other side if they lose.     Once the suit has been filed, they cannot simply revoke the law and walk away, smug in knowing that they cost those attempting to enforce their rights, and did not have to pay anything.  It is a trick that has been used successfully in Pennsylvania, but it seems that it is headed for the dust bin of history.   HB80 started out as HB 2011.  It passed the House on 6 October, 143 to 54.    It went on to the Senate as HB1243.   In what has become a common legislative maneuver, it passed the Senate 36-14, on 16 October.    The vote was originally reported as 32-16, then later revised to 34-14

Because of the amendment maneuver,  HB80 had to have a concurrence vote in the House.   On 20 October, it passed,  138 to 56.    It has been signed in the Senate, and now goes to Governor Corbett. 

Governor Corbett has said that he will sign the bill

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