Governor signs ‘strongest firearms preemption statute in the country’

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), seen here in this file image, signed HB80 into law Tuesday. (Photo: Commonwealth Media)

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), seen here in this file image, signed HB80 into law Tuesday. (Photo: Commonwealth Media)

With the stroke of a pen Tuesday, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) turned a controversial bill into law that will allow third parties to sue municipalities over local gun codes stronger than the state’s.

The measure, added as an amendment to a metal theft bill, had passed the state legislature earlier this month by wide margins. It allows groups such as the National Rifle Association to stand in for local citizens in challenging gun city and county control ordinances stronger than the state’s own laws in court.

With Corbett’s signature, the new law will take effect in 60 days, potentially dozens of strict city and county firearms laws under the gaze of gun rights groups such as the NRA, who called the bill Tuesday, “the strongest firearms preemption statute in the country.”

Corbett meanwhile is facing a tough re-election race against Democrat frontrunner Tom Wolfe who opposes giving “outside organizations to sue towns and cities that enact local ordinances.”

When asked earlier in the week about which ordinances, if any, the NRA plans to go after local representative John Hohenwarter told media that he anticipates many cities will see the writing on the wall and repeal overly harsh statutes they have on their books before the new law takes effect.

“Talk to me in 60 days and we’ll see how many are left,” Hohenwarter said.