Pattye Benson

Community Matters

PA House Bill 1523 Moves a Step Closer to Penalizing Philadelphia for Gun Control Measures

PA House Bill 1523 Update:

Today the Judiciary Committee voted on PA House Bill 1523 which “Clarifies and establishes specific and monetary relief for a person adversely affected by unauthorized municipal regulation of firearms or ammunition.” The Judiciary Committee voted in favor of HB1523, as amended, with a 19-4 vote. (2 Judiciary Committee members did not vote). Click here for amended HB 1523.

The NRA-ILA (Institute for Legislative Action) encourages support for HB1523, stating, “This much-needed pro-gun bill would make critical changes to enhance Pennsylvania’s firearm preemption law.”

Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and District of Columbia have statewide ordinances that require the reporting of lost and stolen guns to law enforcement, with several other states considering similar legislation.

With today’s vote, PA House Bill 1523 now moves from the Judiciary Committee to the state house floor for consideration — giving all legislators an opportunity to weigh in on the issue. The vote moves cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Lancaster that have taken local action to crack down on illegal gun traffickers and straw purchases, one-step closer to financial penalties for enacting their own gun-control measures. HB1523 would allow any gun owner challenging the local ordinance to collect legal fees and damages from the city that passed such an ordinance.

Members of the Judiciary Committee who voted against HB1523 were Eugene DePasquale (D-York), Matthew Bradford (D-Montgomery County), John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) and Ron Waters (D-Philadelphia). In addition to serving as Pennsylvania state legislators, DePasquale, Bradford and Sabatina are attorneys and Waters is chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus. It is interesting to note that 3 of the 4 Judiciary Committee members who opposed HB1523 are either from Philadelphia or the city’s suburbs.

Now that HB1523 will move to the state house floor for consideration, what are the thoughts of our State Representative Warren Kampf on this matter? PA House Bill 1523 and lost and stolen gun reporting legislation is a significant issue in Pennsylvania. Because Kampf’s legislative district is located in the Philadelphia suburbs, and one of the Pennsylvania cities that has a local lost and stolen gun reporting legislation currently on the books, it is important to know the views of our elected official.

According to the NRA-ILA website, HB1523 could move to the full House for second consideration as early as this Wednesday.

I have sent Rep. Kampf an email asking the following two questions and look forward to his response.

(1) What is your view of lost and stolen gun reporting legislation, and
(2) What is your opinion on PA House Bill 1523, and will you support it?

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  1. Pattye —

    Is there a reason you seem to only send these items to Representative Kampf and never seem to include Senator Dinniman or even other officials? From the outside, it looks as if you are playing gotcha politics with Rep. Kampf – a Republican and leaving Democrats alone. You did this was some other issue and when I contacted you about asking Senator Dinniman, you said you would but never posted either his reply or lack thereof.


    1. FTW —
      HB 1523 is going to the House today for discussion and vote which I why I contacted Rep Kampf. I waited until the bill was voted out of the Judiciary Committee to contact him — if HB 1523 had not passed from the Judiciary Committee to the House there would have been no reason for me to contact Kampf. If the House votes to move HB 1523 forward to the Senate floor, I will then contact Sen Dinniman. Because it is a House Bill, maybe there will not be sufficient votes to move it to the Senate (that scenario is probably unlikely) or that the House may make amendments to the bill before moving it to the Senate.

      This is not a ‘gotcha’ moment — the fact is that it is a House issue for discussion/vote and we don’t know if (or when) it will get to the Senate. I checked the PA State website and HB 1523 is on the House docket for today — it’s listed as the 12th bill on today’s calendar.

      Although I have not as yet received a response from Rep Kampf, we will know how he votes on 1523. Assuming that HB 1523 is approved by the House and moves to the Senate, I will contact Sen Dinniman with the same 2 questions.

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