In the wake of the enactment of the special standing legislation, many Pennsylvania towns are facing threats of litigation if they do not rescind their local gun ordinances. Some are choosing to rescind, while others have vowed to fight. Still others are waiting to see the outcome of a pending case in Commonwealth court.
The new state law grants individuals and gun rights groups the legal standing to challenge local measures without proof of harm, and also allows plaintiffs to seek damages. Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster have sued to overturn the law, arguing that its method of passage violates the state constitution.
Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse defended his city’s local ordinances, saying they are intended to combat gun violence and that they are supported by the police chief.
“I don’t think it’s the be-all and end-all of public safety, but I think it’s an important tool to have, and it absolutely sends the wrong message to try to rescind those ordinances, especially given the epidemic of gun violence we have in cities like Harrisburg,” he said.