A preemption law is one that requires all locally passed gun ordinances or laws be uniform and in agreement with state laws. It prevents a patchwork of different gun control laws in different counties and cities throughout the state. Pennsylvania had a preemption law in 2014, but the state Supreme Court struck the measure down. Now the legislature is re-doing the preemption bill in a way to meet the court’s requirements.
The Pennsylvania legislature is aiming to enforce their strong firearms preemption law. A similar enforcement law was enacted in 2014, but was struck down in 2016. The state Supreme Court ruled that the legislature had violated the state constitutional requirement for “single issue” statutes when the bill was passed.
On April 19, 2017, a replacement bill passed the House Judiciary committee by a 20-5 vote.
As with most states, Pennsylvania has a strong firearms preemption law. The statute has been on the books for over three decades. The preemption law requires that virtually all firearms law in Pennsylvania be uniform at the state level. Local governments are forbidden from passing a patchwork quilt of firearms regulations that can entrap innocent residents as they exercise their Second Amendment rights.
A preemption law is necessary to keep local governments in control and prevent them from passing more stringent gun control laws and become traps for gun owners like small town speed traps for drivers. However, it would be better if the state first got rid of their existing gun control laws and then a preemption law would prevent local governments from passing their own.