Today, Governor Tom Corbett (R) signed into law House Bill 80, the strongest firearms preemption statute in the country, at a public signing ceremony. This critical pro-gun legislation strengthens the state firearms preemption statute to further ensure that firearm and ammunition laws are consistent throughout Pennsylvania and allows citizens to seek legal remedies against localities whose gun control ordinances exceed state law. A much-needed protection for gun owners in the Keystone State, HB 80 will provide a way for responsible gun owners to hold municipalities accountable and responsible for infringing on our Second Amendment rights. HB 80 takes effect in sixty days.
After four years of hard work, your NRA thanks you for your active involvement and support on this issue. Without your years of phone calls and e-mails to your state legislators, this legislation might never have become a reality.
Please thank Governor Corbett for being a steadfast advocate of your Second Amendment rights and for signing HB 80 into law.
We note that the bill has teeth.
Razor sharp teeth for municipalities (ahem, Philadelphia! ahem) who ignore the law and create or maintain their own laws contrary to Pennsylvania State law.
Here are the teeth (excerpted)
Relief.–A person adversely affected by an ordinance, a resolution, regulation, rule, practice or any other action promulgated or enforced by a county, municipality or township prohibited under subsection (a) or 53 Pa.C.S. § 2962(g) (relating to limitation on municipal powers) may seekdeclaratory or injunctive relief and actual damages in an appropriate court.
Reasonable expenses.–A court shall award reasonable expenses to a person adversely affected in an action under
subsection (a.2) for any of the following:
(1) A final determination by the court is granted in favor of the person adversely affected.
(2) The regulation in question is rescinded, repealed or otherwise abrogated after suit has been filed under subsection (a.2) but before the final determination by the court.
“Reasonable expenses.” The term includes, but is not limited to, attorney fees, expert witness fees, court costs and
compensation for loss of income.
Even if the municipality repeals the law after the suit is filed, it doesn’t let them off the hook for paying damages.
And speaking of Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia in particular, this also just came in (h/t to Miguel at GunFree Zone):
Settlement APPROVED in Philadelphia Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Disclosure of Confidential LTCF Information
I am proud to announce that today, Judge Jacqueline Allen signed a Final Order approving the settlement that was reached with the City of Philadelphia in the matter of John Doe, et al., v. City of Philadelphia, et al, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas docket no. 121203785, stemming from the City’s posting and disclosing of what we alleged was confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) information. You can download a copy of the original Press Release related to the Preliminary Approval – here. This was a collaborative effort between Benjamin R. Picker, Esquire of McCausland Keen & Buckman, Jonathan Goldstein, Esquire of McNelly & Goldstein, LLC, Jon Mirowitz, Esquire, and myself.
As a result of the Settlement, the City will pay $1.425 million to the class and will be separately responsible for the costs of administering the settlement. Further, and of similar importance, the City has agreed to a number of policy changes, which can be found starting on page 11 of the Settlement Agreement, including:
- Not to disclose LTCF applicant information either electronically or in-person;
- Annual training of the Philadelphia Police Department and Philadelphia License and Inspection Board of Review on the confidentiality of LTCF applicant information;
- Customer service training for the Philadelphia Gun Permit Unit;
- Posting a copy of the LTCF Application Notice on its website and where LTCF applications and appeals can be submitted or obtained, as well as, providing a copy to anyone who has his/her LTCF denied or revoked;
- The City will not require references on the LTCF application and will not contact any references listed on the LTCF application;
- The City will not require lawful immigrants or US Citizens with a US Passport to provide naturalization papers;
- The City will not require any applicant to disclose whether he/she owns a firearm during the LTCF application process;
- The City will not deny an application because the applicant answered “no” to any question regarding whether the applicant had been charged/convicted of any crime where the applicant received a pardon or expungement from the charge or conviction;
- The City will process all LTCF applications within 45 calendar days;
- The City will remit $15.00 to any applicant who is denied within 20 days;
- The City will not require LTCF applicants or holders to disclose to law enforcement that they have an LTCF, that they are carrying a firearm or that they have a firearm in the vehicle; and
- The City will not confiscate an LTCF or firearm, unless there is probable cause that the LTCF or firearm is evidence of a crime. In the event an LTCF or firearm is confiscated, the officer must immediately provide a property receipt, which shall include the pertinent information