Scarnati: Senate Passes Legislation to
Protect Second Amendment Rights

The Senate approved legislation on Thursday to protect Pennsylvanians’ Second Amendment rights by preventing local jurisdictions from imposing firearms ordinances that are more restrictive than state laws, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25).

Scarnati, who strongly supported the measure, explained that the amended version of House Bill 80 would prohibit local laws or ordinances attempting to regulate firearms or ammunition.

The bill would allow an individual or organization to sue to block or overturn a local ordinance. If successful, the individual would be able to recover all expenses, including attorney fees, costs, expenses, and lost income from employment.

“This legislation is a commonsense measure to not change, but simply clarify current law,” Scarnati said. “Senate Bill 80 clarifies existing law to ensure that firearms and ammunition laws are consistent across Pennsylvania.”

“Unfortunately, anti-gun advocates are now pressuring local governments to enact laws which violate our Second Amendment rights,” Scarnati explained. “They are engaging in this underhanded tactic in order to push an unpopular agenda which has repeatedly failed to succeed at the state or federal level.”

Scarnati noted that over three decades ago state firearm preemption was enacted by the legislature to avoid the possibility of having over 2,600 separate firearm laws across the Commonwealth. In recent years more than 50 local governments have enacted local gun control ordinances in violation of the current state firearms preemption law.

“Myriad local firearm laws across our Commonwealth make compliance very difficult and nearly impossible for responsible gun owners,” Scarnati said. “Many local residents travel across the state with a lawfully owned gun in their car. We need consistency to prevent individuals who travel with firearms for personal protection and hunting from being at risk of breaking the law simply by crossing from one municipality to the other.”

House Bill 80 is supported by various pro-Second Amendment organizations. The legislation was approved by the Senate by a vote of 34 to 14. The bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for a vote on concurrence.

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