PA-Gov: Corbett Mistakenly Signs Wrong Gun Ordinance Bill
Thanks to a printing error, Governor Tom Corbett actually accidentally signed an outdated version of House Bill 80 (HB 80) into law.
The bill institutes a controversial new gun policy that allows citizens and pro-gun organizations to sue municipalities whose gun control laws are stricter than the State of Pennsylvania’s.
The clerical error not only presented Corbett with the wrong version of the bill, but Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Samuel Smith (R, HD-66), and the President of the State Senate, Joe Scarnati (R, SD-25), as well.
The error occurred when a House clerk mistakenly inserted the wrong printer’s number, P.N 4248, on the document before presenting it to the Speaker of the House. Corbett then approved an earlier version of the bill that had been amended during the most recent General Assembly vote just before the midterm elections.
As soon as the House was made aware of the issue, it reconvened late Wednesday night to quickly sign the correct version of the bill before sending it over to the Senate to repeat the process.
Corbett is prepared to ratify the most recent version of the law as soon as it hits his desk, despite opposition from the 28 municipalities who have tightened gun laws in recent years. Of these 28, ten are clustered in the Philadelphia suburbs and Mayor Michael Nutter has expressed concerns that the bill will undo recent progress in reducing gun violence.
The bill not only provides increased grounds for citizens and pro-gun organizations to sue a township that has harsher gun laws than the state, but also weakens local legislation targeting “straw” purchases, or when someone sidesteps federal background check laws by using another person to purchase a firearm from a federal dealer.
Joining Mayor Nutter’s condemnation of the bill is Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and former Governor Ed Rendell. Rendell, also a member of the gun control advocacy group CeasefirePA, a gun control advocacy organization, had pledged in the midterm elections to “target” Southeastern PA lawmakers who supported HB 80.
Despite objections, Corbett will sign the bill. His spokesman Jay Pagni is quoted as referencing the Supreme Court’s ruling that “local ordinances cannot supersede state law.”