PA: Governor Wolf VETOs Gun Control Pre-emption Bill, Sides with Scofflaw Cities

Governor Tom Wolf Official instagram
Governor Tom Wolf    ,IMG Official Instagram

U.S.A.-( Governor Tom Wolf has vetoed Pennsylvania Bill HB 979 on 4 February 2022.

The bill would have imposed penalties on Pennsylvania municipalities that violate Pennsylvania law. HB 979 passed the Pennsylvania House with 124 to 79 votes on June 8th, 2021. It passed the Pennsylvania Senate on January 25, 2022, with 32 to 17 votes.


As promised, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a Republican-penned bill that would punish municipalities from enacting firearm ordinances stricter than Pennsylvania law.

The legislation, authored by state Rep. Matthew Dowling, R-Fayette, that would make towns and cities responsible for all legal costs in successful court challenges to local restrictions, was approved by the GOP-controlled General Assembly last week.

In Pennsylvania, a two-thirds vote in both chambers of the legislature is necessary for a veto override. In the House, HB 979 received 61% of the vote. In the Senate, HB 979 received 65% of the vote. An override of the veto is highly unlikely.

Pennsylvania has a strong firearms pre-emption law to ensure the uniformity of firearms law across the state. When the law was passed, it was assumed local governments would obey the law. It was a bad assumption. Over 50 local governments have snubbed their nose at the state law. HB 979 is the current attempt to bring the scofflaw governments to heel.

From the bill:

(1) A person adversely affected by any manner of ordinance, resolution, rule, practice or other action promulgated or enforced by a county, municipality or township in violation of subsection (a) or 53 Pa.C.S. § 306(a) (relating to regulation of firearms and ammunition) or 2962(g) (relating to limitation on municipal powers), may seek declarative and injunctive relief and the actual damages attributable to the violation in an appropriate court.

Essentially the same language was passed in 2014. Disgraced Pennsylvania AG, Democrat Kathleen Kane refused to enforce the bill. She was convicted of felonies while in office. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the 2014 law in 2016, because of a claim of improper procedure in the legislature when the bill was passed.

Another bill with the language passed the House in 2017 but did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


In Governor Wolf’s veto message about HB 979, he makes clear he values government power over the rule of law:

“This legislation is an attack on local governments who take action to find commonsense solutions to gun violence and is yet another bill that shows indifference to the safety of Pennsylvanians.”

Progressives are opposed to limitations on government power. It is in their ideological DNA.

The same Governor Tom Wolf Vetoed Constitution Carry in December of 2021, bragging about that move in social media.


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A post shared by Governor Tom Wolf (@governortomwolf)

It is difficult for this correspondent to see how encouraging local governments to violate the rule of law aids in increasing the safety of Pennsylvanian citizens.

The language used by Governor Wolf is an Orwellian word salad. “Commonsense solution” translates to laws used to violate citizens Constitutional rights. “attack on local governments” means holding local governments accountable to the rule of law.  “Gun violence” is an Orwellian term meant to associate guns with illegal violence. But violence is neutral, like gravity. It can be used for good, or evil. Citizens are more likely to use guns to prevent crimes than to commit crimes.

The Citizens of Pennsylvania, through their representatives, have shown they do not want local Pennsylvania governments to violate the law with impunity. Governor Wolf will not be governor forever. His current term ends on January 17, 2023. A new governor will be elected in November of 2022.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Vetos give one person far too much power, and this guy has shown no respect for that. They should be used sparingly, not for situations where one power-abuser simply disagrees with the will of the public.


so you want mob rule, where people in minority have no voice, with that trump would not have been elected , with that the second amendment would be in the trash can. the big cities would out vote the farmers and our republic would become a communism, why work hard when you dont get what you workrd for, majority decides farmers should be made to work, truckdrivers to drive or jail them kill them if they dont do what you say slippery slope vote the idiot out fix the law with no teeth make it a pirana, that has jail… Read more »


That’s a ridiculous jump. I could go to the opposite extreme and conclude you would rather have a supreme leader.

No. I want governors to exercise restraint and not use their veto power for their druthers.

Wild Bill

True, but when designed, the veto was to be a check on a run away legislature. No founder ever thought that the veto power would be used against the will and the benefit of the people. Can’t the governor’s veto be over ridden by the Pa legislature.


Right, and if it were the other way around, and he vetoed a bill that attempted to overstep the legislature’s authority or negatively impacted the rights of the people, that is proper use of veto power.

The author here opines that the override of this veto is highly unlikely. A two-thirds majority from both chambers is required.

Wild Bill

I can not help but concur with everything that you wrote except the tiny little notion that veto power gives a governor too much power. I only disagree there because there is another check on the veto that is designed to balance power between the branches. It is a pretty good design.


I see that point. Let me start over.

This is an abuse of the veto power, and it will likely stand. If legislators were concerned with such things, it would be overridden regardless of the subject matter. As they’re only really concerned with either getting re-elected or getting their way, it probably won’t.

Wild Bill

All true!


No they dont have the votes, but this idiot is on his way out


problem is that is their job remember checks and balances , for better or worse (and there have been some beauts) it is what we have in a perfect world they would understand Shall Not Be Infringed as it was intended and this conversation would never need to take place ….Have yet to meet anyone who walks on water


Just doing his job, eh?

Like hell.


This is what happens when the USELESS elect a POS.


Wolf has been your typical Dem/socialist tool… DONE when his term of SCREWING PENNSYLVANIA is over on November 8th this year. Has done nothing on the good/right/non criminal side for Pa citizens, he has catered to the left/FREE RIDE bunch the entire time. November 8th can’t come soon enough !


hope this is presented to new governor,

Wild Bill

Yes, and that is another check on the governor’s veto!


He was a piece of SKUM when he was elected and has done nothing but to set out to destroy Pa!!!!!! Had a chance to move to Mo, glad I moved, don’t have to put up with big cities ruling the SKUM, Philly, Pitsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton/Wilks-Barre!!!!!!!

Happy Everafter

A true communist who follows the party agenda, instead of protecting citizens’ rights.


He was probably deeply involved in the Pennsylvania portion of the fraud known as the 2020 elections


The totalitarian mentality: “I am better than you and know better than you. You can just stuff it!”

Pa John

It is not reasonable to expect logical solutions from the mentally ill. I.E. – those who insist on acting as though they truly believe that inanimate objects can somehow be “violent” are not operating from a sane perspective, therefore nothing they propose or do can be safely expected to make any realistic sense. I am still waiting for some criminal(s) with nothing left to lose to try a legal defense tactic of claiming that is was his/their FIREARM(s) that was / were violent when their crimes were committed – just as many laws suggest with their numerous references to “gun… Read more »

Arizona Don

As a member of free masonry I can tell you unequivocally that which you say here is absolutely not true. 


I hope you have a chance to watch the video,Recently, one of our students sat down with Hillsdale professor and historian Victor Davis Hanson in the student union.


Dear Tom You are in office to act on the behalf the residents of Pennsylvania you were not elected to act in your party’s interest to control our gun rights. You are not protecting the rights of the citizens claiming zero law enforcement support the bill. The local state and sheriffs departments are there to serve the people not to challenge what citizens of Pennsylvania want written into law. You have proven that you are not for supporting the rights of the majority of voters you support only the democratic socialist movement. Like all things democrat you what to remove… Read more »