Judge Issues Stay in Pittsburgh Case

After a Pennsylvania court refused to issue a stay in the Lancaster preemption case, in Allegheny County, a judge has issued a stay in NRA’s lawsuit there. This means that the case by NRA against Pittsburgh over that city’s illegal firearms ordinances won’t be able to proceed until the Pennsylvania courts resolve the constitutionality of Act 192.

Opponents of Act 192 argue that it violates Pennsylvania’s constitutional requirement that a bill may only be of a single subject matter. As we noted previously, enhanced preemption was attached to a bill about metal theft. Pennsylvania courts have generally been deferential to the legislature on matters of germaneness, but it’s not a slam dunk case for either side.

Regardless of the outcome, Act 192 has been a powerful message to local municipalities that the General Assembly means what it says when it comes to Pennsylvania’s 1974 preemption law. Guns rights are a matter of statewide concern, and the General Assembly is the only body that may lawfully regulate firearms in this commonwealth. For 40 years local municipalities have thumbed their noses at the law, and that’s changing one way or another.

4 thoughts on “Judge Issues Stay in Pittsburgh Case”

  1. I think the argument that the bill violates the constitution’s single subject requirement is very strong.

  2. Minnesota went through a similar problem with their first Shall Issue License to Carry Law.

    “On July 13, 2004, Ramsey County District judge, John Finley, ruled that the 2003 changes to the firearm carry law were unconstitutional. Minnesota’s Constitution requires that bills deal with a single subject and the judge ruled that by amending the firearm carry language to a Department of Natural Resources bill, the law violated that requirement. Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch stated that he would appeal Finley’s decision. See Ramsey County court decision, Unity v. State of Minnesota.”

    The MN Court of Appeals upheld the decision. The 2005 MN Legislature passed a new shall issue bill.

    I expect the law to be struck down.

  3. I would hope than the plaintiffs were smart enough to include a person amongst themselves who has standing via their home address. If so, toss HB 192 and continue the suit. Sure, the lawyers don’t get paid by the municipality, but the fact remains that the laws still violate ’74 pre-emption, and many of the lost/stolen laws should still end up repealed. I would hope PA 2A supporters could circle the wagons and cover reasonable attorney fees for our side.

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