Over the past decades, constitutional (or permitless) carry has been spreading throughout our nation, and now Pennsylvania has taken key steps to joining that growing number.
S.B. 565 recently passed through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by a vote of 107-92, and prior to that, in the Senate by a vote of 29-21.
“Despite the claims of the bill’s opponents, constitutional carry legislation isn’t for criminals. It simply puts law-abiding citizens who are otherwise legally able to possess and carry a firearm, on equal footing by codifying the inherent right to carry a firearm into statute,” wrote the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) of the bill.
The bill will now head to Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) desk. Wolf has said he intends to veto the measure, according to local media.
“In a lot of states, it is difficult just to get to this point,” said Darin Goens, NRA-ILA Pennsylvania state director. “It’s certainly still a victory, because, as we know, these are long-term things. A lot of positives come from this. Mainly, we have worked out the language of the bill, we understand where people had concerns, and we addressed them so that once Pennsylvania has a pro-Second Amendment governor, then we have everything ironed out, and we can move even more quickly to join the other 21 states that have signed constitutional carry into law. This is a giant step forward.”
As noted, 21 states already have some form of constitutional carry law, with five states joining that tally in the past year. To illustrate how much progress has been made, let’s rewind just 20 years. At that time, only one state allowed citizens to carry firearms without a permit—yes, just one! A decade ago, that number was only three, but since then, the NRA and its millions of members have worked tirelessly to advance constitutional carry throughout the nation.
“Pennsylvania has one of the strongest NRA memberships in the nation, and without our members doing their part, legislators would not be compelled to vote for these bills,” added Goens.
So, although, as this was being published, the Pennsylvania governor appeared set to veto this measure, this is a step forward. This “vote advances the fight to protect and expand the right of law-abiding Pennsylvanians to carry and remove unnecessary government red tape and delays from the process,” wrote NRA-ILA.
We’ll keep you updated on this and other Second Amendment-related issues.