By: Teresa Mull
Pennsylvania’s Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed more bills aimed at strengthening gun rights in the Keystone State.
Two bills to repeal laws that authorize controlling the carrying of firearms and the sale of guns during an emergency passed the state House and Senate.
According to the AP:
One bill would repeal a provision that says “no person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property,” although people who have a concealed-carry license are exempt.
The other bill is designed to prevent a governor or local government from shuttering businesses related to firearms and ammunition during a disaster emergency. Those include retailers, manufacturers, shooting ranges, clubs and hunting preserves.
Earlier this year, during the COVID-19 crisis, Wolf ordered that gun stored be shut-down across the state. He then rescinded his order, declaring gun stores were allowed “to complete only the portions of a sale/transfer that must be conducted in-person under the law.”
Wolf changed the order two days after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected an emergency request from Second Amendment activists challenging the gun store closure.
Wolf’s office issued a statement regarding his recent vetoes:
“The current disaster declarations in place are meant to help the administration fight the public health crises at hand and have no impact on citizens and their firearm rights.”
Pennsylvania, with the exception of its two largest cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, is a very pro-gun state. Gun sales are surging in PA, as they are elsewhere, and in Allegheny County, in particular has been overwhelmed with applications for concealed carry permits.
As GPM reported previously, the bad news is that this surge in concealed carry permits is putting so much pressure on the Allegheny County Courthouse that the earliest time these applicants can receive them is in November.
According to Pittsburgh’s division of CBS Local, upwards of 6,000 people are waiting in line for concealed carry permits. The sheriff’s office is currently scheduling online applicants in five-minute intervals. Although it’s processing 84 permits a day, the applications are delayed for months.
Teresa Mull (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of Gunpowder Magazine.