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Wolf says he'll veto moves to supersede local gun ordinances in Pennsylvania

| Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 12:12 a.m.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf said he will veto NRA-backed legislation advanced Tuesday in the state Legislature that would give legal standing to individuals and organizations to sue municipalities over local firearms ordinances and seek damages.

The House and Senate moved forward with competing proposals. The Senate sent its bill to the House after a handful of amendments were defeated. In the House, dozens of Democrats joined Republicans to defeat several amendments. The House can take up its plan as early as Wednesday.

Wolf, a Democrat, said he doesn't believe the state should restrict a local government's ability to pass gun regulations, including keeping track of lost and stolen guns.

The two bills would override local ordinances regarding ownership, possession, transfer or transportation, ammunition or ammunition components in conflict with state law.

The legislation is backed by the National Rifle Association and opposed by gun-control advocates. A handful of municipalities have passed firearms-related ordinances, including Pittsburgh, and some mayors have called the legislation “punitive.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, while a city councilman, in 2008 sponsored a city ordinance requiring owners to report lost or stolen handguns to police.

In 2014, a similar proposal was signed into law. But the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional because it was amended into unrelated legislation in violation of a state constitutional provision. The ruling did not address the substance of the bill.

Kevin Zwick is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2856, or on Twitter @kevinjzwick.

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