All throughout the nation, there’s a problem. State and local governments in many places haven’t figured out how to balance concerns over COVID-19 with people’s need to get concealed carry permits so as to allow them to exercise their Second Amendment rights. While many debate whether the concern over the coronavirus is warranted, the truth is that people have that concern and you’re not going to argue it away.
What we need to consider, though, is the cost of that concern. Namely, people’s need for their carry permits.
While Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has made his anti-gun biases quite clear, even he recognizes that a problem exists and has made at least one step to address it.
Governor Wolf has granted a fifth extension to license to carry firearm permits.
The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) announced today that Governor Tom Wolf has granted an additional extension to permits expiring on March 19, 2020 or later.
They are now valid through March 31, 2021. The previous extension was set to expire on December 31.
Honestly, this is probably the very best we could hope for at this time, and for those who had permits expiring during that period, it’s definitely good news. I mean, they get a year’s extension on their permits in some cases. Not too shabby.
The problem is that this doesn’t address the tens of thousands of new gun owners in Pennsylvania, people who don’t currently have a valid carry permit for the state and would like to get one. They’re left out in the cold because the offices that issue such permits are generally shut down. Even before this latest round of lockdowns, massive delays were reported in some parts of the state stretching out well over a year.
I’m sorry, but there’s nothing right about that in the least.
While I applaud Wolf for making the right call here, a better call would be to also address these people who don’t already have a permit. Other states are managing it somehow, so there’s no reason Pennsylvania can’t.
In fact, this is a fine reason to pass constitutional carry. After all, constitutional carry states aren’t having an issue with figuring out how to issue permits during a pandemic. I mean, there are no permits to issue, so why would they, right? I mean, sure, many states have permits for reciprocity purposes, that only impacts a tiny number of people anyway. It also minimizes the flow of people who even want a permit.
Pennsylvania could pass constitutional carry and negate the need for multiple extensions of the permits already in circulation while also taking care of the legions of new gun owners who would like to lawfully carry their firearm but currently can’t because of the state’s fouled up system.
Really, it would solve a lot of the state’s problems.
Unfortunately, Wolf is too anti-gun to do any such thing. I suspect the only reason he’s granting the extension is because he’s trying to stave off lawsuits from gun rights groups that would spring up if he didn’t.