HARRISBURG – Sen. Wayne Langerholc Jr. (R-35) has begun seeking cosponsors for legislation that would protect law-abiding gun owners from gun laws enacted by local municipalities that go above and beyond state law.
“Municipalities do not have the authority to make up laws that contradict existing state laws and our Constitution,” Langerholc said.
“When local officials overstep their boundaries by enacting overly restrictive gun laws, it can be a problem for average law-abiding citizens to go through the process to fight their citation, not to mention to get the unjust law overturned.”
“By ensuring uniformity in state gun laws, this legislation will give law-abiding gun owners peace of mind as they travel across the state. Most importantly, the legislation will make the municipality defend its actions rather than make the citizens who were unjustly cited to defend theirs,” Langerholc said.
His bill, which has not yet been introduced, would allow an individual or organization to sue to block an overly restrictive local firearms ordinance. Currently, gun owners who are accused of violating local ordinances often lack the time and money to wage a prolonged, costly legal battle necessary to overturn unconstitutional gun regulations at the local level.
Similar legislation was signed into law in 2014, but a state Supreme Court ruling overturned the law based upon procedural grounds that did not address the content or constitutionality of the law, Langerholc explained.
The legislation restores the original intent of the Uniform Firearms Act, which was designed to prevent municipalities from enacting their own ordinances.