Pennsylvania Bill Seeks To Make State Constitutional Carry

AP File Photo

I’ve mentioned before that Pennsylvania is shaping up to be an interesting battleground state when it comes to gun rights. Following the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, the city of Pittsburgh has hoisted a middle finger to law and order by ignoring the state’s preemption law, apparently with the governor’s blessing.


However, not everyone is anti-gun in the state, hence it being a battleground.

One lawmaker, however, has offered up a bill that’s bound to make anti-gun Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto break out into a cold sweat.

If you have a clean record and qualify for a gun purchase, you should be able to carry that firearm hidden on you without having to get government permission.

That is the goal of legislation introduced Monday by state Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-10, New Beaver, who has previously been vocal in his support of gun rights.

Under his bill, law-abiding citizens would no longer be required to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania, according to a statement from Bernstine’s office.

“If a citizen passes a criminal background check, it is patently unjust and unconstitutional to add layers of bureaucratic regulations on those who are least likely to commit a crime,” Bernstine said in the statement. “The current process is a duplicative abuse of the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

I see nothing wrong with that. I mean, how can I, right?

The big question is, does this bill have a chance of passing? My guess is that it doesn’t.

While Republicans do narrowly control the legislature, it’s a slim enough margin that I wouldn’t put money down that this bill will even get a vote, much less pass. A number of Republicans are uncomfortable with constitutional carry, which is why so many GOP-dominated states still don’t have such a law on the books (I say looking at the Georgia General Assembly).


Even if it were to get through the legislature, it would need to be signed into law by the governor — however, Gov. Tom Wolf is a Democrat, one who stood next to Peduto when he announced his intention to ignore the state’s preemption law, thus giving at least tacit support for the move.

Somehow, I don’t see him signing such a pro-gun bill when he clearly has anti-gun sympathies, which is a shame, but not a surprising one.

The truth of the matter is that concealed carry permits work to limit who carries a firearm only to those who can afford to jump through the various government-imposed hoops. That means such laws negatively impact the poorer segments of society, all while doing nothing to curb violent criminals from carrying guns.

Constitutional carry eliminates this, allowing those who are most likely to need a firearm due to the likelihood of living in higher-crime neighborhoods to carry a gun on their person legally. As such, it makes those neighborhoods far safer since the criminals can’t know who is armed and who isn’t.

But Wolf won’t allow that. Why do Democrats like him hate the poor so much?

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