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Bill to Exempt Guns from Emergency Restrictions Moves through PA House

By: Teresa Mull

Some good news out of Pennsylvania today: a bill to “limit the governor’s ability to restrict access to guns during a disaster emergency declaration is moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” reports PA Post.

According to the site:

Under current law, people are banned from openly carrying a gun during a disaster emergency declaration, unless they have a concealed carry license, are exempt from having such a license, or are actively defending their life or property.

The bill from state Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette) would eliminate that ban.

“I really don’t think there’s reason for the governor to have this power over guns,” said Dowling. “We are given the ability to keep and bear arms by the Constitution.”

The bill also would change the state’s disaster emergency law, striking out firearms from a list of items or activities that the governor can restrict.

“Gun Owners of America congratulates Rep. Dowling and the PA House for passing House Bill 1747," said Dr. Val Finnell, the Pennsylvania director for Gun Owners of America. "During a state of emergency, Pennsylvanians should have unimpeded access to purchase firearms and be allowed to carry openly without a permit to protect themselves and their families. The Senate should pass House Bill 1747 without amendment immediately."

GPM has reportedly repeatedly about gun sales smashing records during the recent national unrest. Corresponding with the huge uptick in firearm accessibility has been a decline in crime. The Facebook page called “The Shooters Hangout” posted, “Firearm revenue is up 309%. Crime is down. It’s almost like guns aren’t the problem.”

Firearms and ammo sales have skyrocketed across the country while there are indicators of crime plummeting at the same time. The large surge in gun sales has been illustrated in the record number of background checks the federal government has processed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirmed carrying out 3.7 million background checks for firearm purchases in March. This is the highest number of background checks ever recorded in a span of month by the bureau. To put this in perspective, March 2020’s numbers were 1 million higher than March 2019.

In the period of March 16 to 22 alone, the FBI ran approximately 1.2 million background checks. More than 210,000 background checks were processed on March 20, a new single-day record. According to Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting, a research firm that analyzes the global firearms market, aforementioned background check numbers point to approximately 2.5 million guns being sold in March, an 85.3 percent increase from the same month in 2019.

According to a recent report by USA TODAY, crime rates have been declining across the country during the pandemic. Since March 15, arrests have dropped by 47 percent when juxtaposed to the period of February 2 to February 29. USA TODAY also noted, “…the number of traffic stops barely registers in some localities.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.