Why critics say a gun law passed by Pa. House encourages NRA to sue municipalities

Why critics say a gun law passed by Pa. House encourages NRA to sue municipalities

With a dozen Democrats joining Republicans, the Pennsylvania Legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow groups from outside the state, such as the National Rifle Association, to sue municipalities that pass their own gun restrictions. In a 124-79 vote , House Bill 979, introduced by a state Rep. Matt Dowling, R-Fayette County, was approved and sent to the Senate. While 12 Democrats, mainly from western Pennsylvania, crossed the aisle to support the measure, state Rep. Todd Stephens, a former Montgomery County assistant district attorney, was the only Republican to vote against it, as he did when it was approved by the House Judiciary Committee in late May. More: Pa. legislators set to pass concealed carry without a gun permit. Will it become law? What’s the bill do? The bill would strengthen the state’s preemption law to dissuade municipalities from passing and enforcing their own gun laws by allowing anyone who successfully challenges a local gun law to be reimbursed for attorney fees and court costs, as well as loss of any related income. Under Dowling’s bill, municipalities would receive 60 days “fair notice” to repeal the law to avoid a lawsuit. The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office would have to notify all municipalities of the bill’s requirements before it goes into effect. How did the debate go? During a brief floor debate on the bill, Dowling said there are more than 2,500 municipalities in the state that could have varying laws. “Our goal right now is to protect […]

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