proposed laws

PA Bill Number: HB2310

Title: In emergency COVID-19 response, further

Description: An Act amending the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.343, No.176), known as The Fiscal Code, in emergency COVID-19 response, further

Last Action: Signed in Senate

Last Action Date: Jul 11, 2024

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Pittsburgh's Gun Ordinances Against Struck Down In Court :: 05/27/2022

PITTSBURGH, PA — An attempt to regulate guns within city limits has again been struck down by a state appeals court in this western Pennsylvania city.

An en banc Commonwealth Court panel struck down Pittsburgh's gun ordinances this week, a decision hailed by the attorney representing a gun rights advocacy organization who sued to overturn the local laws.

'En banc' means the entire Commonwealth Court, not just a smaller panel of judges.

Joshua Prince, who represented the Firearm Owners Against Crime in its civil action against the City of Pittsburgh, announced Friday that the Commonwealth Court judges sided with the plaintiffs in the matter.

"Today's decision affirms the trial court's ruling that all of the ordinances, in their entirety, were unlawful and preempted [by state law]," Prince wrote in a blog post.

Pittsburgh was one of the Pennsylvania municipalities in recent years who have attempted to pass their own gun ordinances, but who have been struck down in court because Pennsylvania is a "preemption" state, whereby only the state legislature can pass gun laws.

In the majority opinion, written by Judge Patricia McCullough, the court found that certain gun ordinances passed by the Pittsburgh City Council in recent years and signed into law by its then-mayor, violate state law.

The ruling states that the ordinances are "invalid and unenforceable because they intrude into an area of regulation that is reserved exclusively to the General Assembly."

The ordinances in question included a prohibition on assault weapons and large capacity magazines and an extreme risk protection ordinance.

State Supreme Court precedence had already held that local gun ordinances crafted by towns and cities are generally null and void because the regulation of firearms is reserved to the General Assembly, but some cities — such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia — have nevertheless attempted to pass their own ordinances involving firearm regulation.

Lawsuits have sprouted up over the years after certain municipalities passed their own gun laws, and the outcome has generally been that the ordinances have been struck down as invalid.

In this most recent case, the Commonwealth Court took up the matter on appeal after Pittsburgh lost at the trial court level on the matter back in late 2019.

This decision upholds the lower court ruling that sided with the plaintiffs and against Pittsburgh.

The full Commonwealth Court ruling can be read here.

The article Pittsburgh's Gun Ordinances Against Struck Down In Court appeared first on Pittsburgh Patch.