Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Muhlenberg Township firearm use prohibition

    Hi. I'm new here, and I'm hoping that I can find some help with understanding something.
    I am looking for a place to move, and in doing so I am looking at what local laws are in place before I commit.

    Muhlenberg township has this: (found here: https://ecode360.com/34539417)

    248-5
    Discharge of firearms within Township prohibited; exception.
    [Amended 6-12-2006 by Ord. No. 421]
    A.
    Definitions. As used in this section, the following words shall have the meanings indicated:
    DISCHARGE
    The expulsion of a projectile from a firearm.
    FIREARM
    Any device which is designed and intended to expel a projectile by action of gunpowder, any other explosive, compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical device. By way of example and not limitation, items that are to be considered firearms under this section include guns, pistols, rifles, shotguns, BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles and paint ball guns and paint ball rifles.
    B.
    Prohibition. No person shall discharge any firearm within the Township of Muhlenberg, except at a Township-recognized and -authorized range facility, or as authorized by Pennsylvania statute.


    I don't want to over react to this, but it seems like this is a ban on hunting, back yard or private property gun ranges, and kids playing paintball.
    Would this mean that, regardless of the amount of land I own, I couldn't shoot on my own property?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
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    Default Re: Muhlenberg Township firearm use prohibition

    Sounds to me like it may be a preemption law violation. Hunting is authorized by statute. Private property rights on Paint ball, and shooting ranges, may require a Lawyers advice. IANAL
    Aggies Coach Really ??? Take off the tin foil bro.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
    (Franklin County)
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    Default Re: Muhlenberg Township firearm use prohibition

    Regulation of "firearms" as defined by PA 5515 (see below) is preempted by state law. Local measures can mirror, but not exceed what has been set by the legislature. However, state firearms preemption does NOT include "BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles and paint ball guns and paint ball rifles".

    Likewise, hunting regulations are the sole purview of the state. Localities can *mirror* them, but have no authority to exceed them. There is case law on this that can easily be found.

    Regulation of "discharge" during lawful hunting activities (as defined by the state) is preempted. "Discharge" for self-defense or non-hunting sport purposes is not specifically mentioned in PA 6120, but case law suggests it is also protected.


    *Firearm.* *Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive; *or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.
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