Pennsylvania Governor Lashes Out Over Pro-Gun Bills

AP Photo/Marc Levy

Today marks the third anniversary of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It’s the kind of anniversary no one wants to “celebrate,” to be sure. However, we do mark these occasions in various ways.

For anti-Second Amendment politicians, one way to mark it is to push anti-Second Amendment policies as the only potential solution to the issue.

That’s pretty much what Gov. Tom Wolf did as he lashed out at two pro-gun bills.

Since then, the Wolf administration said nearly 5,000 more Pennsylvanians have died from guns and claims two proposed bills could increase those numbers:

  • Senate Bill 448: This bill would allow anyone including out-of-state organizations like the NRA to sue a municipality for enacting a gun law stricter than a state law.  The Wolf administration said this could “stall municipalities’ efforts to develop innovative solutions to a crisis that is taking the lives of their constituents.”
  • Senate Bill 565: This bill would allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry a legally concealed firearm in public without a permit. According to Governor Wolf, “dismantling the existing concealed carry permitting system and lowering the age from 21 will make it even easier for potential shooters to enter public spaces without being noticed.”

Jason Gottesman, the press secretary for the House Majority Leader, noted that people who are actually carrying a gun lawfully aren’t likely to commit any crimes. And since those who carry unlawfully aren’t dissuaded from doing so because of the law, there really isn’t an issue.

But for people like Wolf, there’s never any give-and-take. It’s just take.

That’s part of why I’m unmoved by their cries about how our side just never compromises. The other part is that it’s never actually a compromise, it’s just an agreement that they won’t take as much as they originally wanted to just now.

And let’s be honest, the Tree of Life shooter wasn’t concealed carrying an AR-15.

Then there’s the bill seeking to strengthen preemption. Yes, Wolf dislikes this bill. He would. After all, he’s the one who basically gave Pittsburgh the green light to hoist their middle finger at Pennsylvania’s preemption law in the first place.

“But it might stall cities’ efforts to ‘develop innovative solutions to a crisis’ and stuff!”

Well, if those “innovative solutions” are gun control, then yeah. That’s kind of the point.

Preemption is the law in Pennsylvania. Wolf and his fellow travelers have thumbed their nose at that law. Now, they’re upset that the legislature is trying to take steps to help provide some teeth to that preemption law.

Frankly, Wolf has only himself to blame for that. Had he told Mayor Bill Peduto that the state couldn’t provide cover, it’s unlikely Pittsburgh would have even attempted their own assault weapon ban. Had that not happened, it’s unlikely the legislature would have done what they did in reaction.


The problem is that people like Wolf can only see one solution to any gun-related problem. They can’t imagine anything else working, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Luckily, the Pennsylvania legislature is filled with people who know better.