Leach v. Turzai (majority)Annotate this Case
In a direct appeal, the issue presented for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's review involved a challenge to the regularity of the enactment of Act 192 of 2014. Act 192 began as House Bill 80 (“HB 80”), introduced in January 2013. Initially, HB 80 was a two-page bill which added the newly-defined offense of theft of secondary metal (such as copper and aluminum, or wire and cable used by utilities and transportation agencies) to the Crimes Code at Section 3935. The bill was titled, “AN ACT Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, defining the offense of theft of secondary metal; and prescribing penalties.” After undergoing minor revisions, HB 80 was approved by the House and sent to the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee added a section amending the existing trespass provision of the Crimes Code to specify that an individual who trespasses in order to steal secondary metal commits a first-degree misdemeanor as a “simple trespasser.” Meanwhile, in April 2013, a separate House bill, HB 1243, was introduced and began proceeding through the General Assembly. HB 1243 changed various provisions of subchapter 61(A) of the Crimes Code, (the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995). As amended on its second consideration in the House, the bill retained some of its original provisions and, important to this dispute, encompassed substantial additions to Section 6120, which generally prohibited counties and other municipalities from regulating the lawful ownership, possession, transfer, or transportation of firearms and ammunition. On October 15, 2014, HB 1243’s substantive provisions were folded into HB 80. The Supreme Court concluded that Act 192 violated the single-subject rule of Article III, Section 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.