Pennsylvania: Preemption and School-Staff Carry Firearms Bills Moving

In the Keystone State, two bills that bolster gun rights are moving through the General Assembly.

HB 671 would toughen existing law to ensure that firearms and ammunition laws are consistent throughout the state. Reason: Many local governments have enacted gun-control ordinances in violation of the current preemption law.

The Pennsylvania legislature enacted state firearms preemption more than 30 years ago to avoid having a patchwork of regulations that could ensnare citizens in local restrictions they didn’t even know existed.

Legislation similar to HB 671 was signed by former Governor Tom Corbett in 2014, but was struck down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court last year for a violation of the “single subject” rule for legislative process.

U.S. Law Shield of Pennsylvania vigorously fought against localities ignoring the preemption laws, suing the city of Harrisburg, in fact. Click here and here for background on those efforts.

Also of interest to gun owners, the Senate Education Committee passed legislation clarifying the Pennsylvania school boards’ authority to allow school staff to carry firearms on school property.

Senate Bill 383, sponsored by state Senator Donald C. White (R-41), would allow school staff to lawfully carry firearms on school property after receiving authorization from the school board of directors, presenting a license to carry concealed, and meeting certain firearm training requirements. SB 383 would not mandate that schools participate.

SB 383 is now on the Senate floor for consideration, but Gov. Tom Wolf has vowed to veto it.

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