Showdown over local gun laws looms in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania lawmakers are moving closer to an election-season showdown with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf over a bill designed to make it easier for gun owners and organizations like the National Rifle Association to challenge cities’ firearms ordinances in court.

The GOP-controlled Senate approved the bill Monday, 30-19. Approval from the Republican-controlled House is still required, and Wolf has said he opposes the bill.

It is nearly identical to a version thrown out by the state’s highest court in June on technical grounds after former Republican Gov. Tom Corbett signed it in 2014.

The proposal expands the definition of who has standing to file legal challenges to local gun ordinances to include any gun owner or membership organization, such as the NRA. In general, Pennsylvania bars its municipalities from enforcing firearms ordinances that are stronger than state law.

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