HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — State Republicans are pushing a bill to allow people to carry concealed firearms without any kind of permit. That bill just passed the House Judiciary Committee after state lawmakers in Texas passed a very similar law.
“It says right to bear arms shall not be questioned,” State Rep. Aaron Bernstine said. “I’m a pretty simple guy from western Pennsylvania, but I did learn to read.”
Bernstine also learned to write legislation. His House bill 659 would eliminate the need for a license to carry.
“If I was carrying a weapon without my suit jacket I’m legal. As soon as I put my suit jacket on, if I didn’t have a carry permit I would be illegal,” Bernstine said. “These are things that just don’t make sense.”
Bernstine’s bill doesn’t make sense to Ceasefire PA which noted gun violence is at an all-time high saying now is not the time to be removing the few safeguards we do have in place against the carnage.
I asked, “You don’t think there’s gonna be more violence or bad things as a result of your bill?”
“There is absolutely too much gun violence in America today but what we do know is restricting law-abiding citizens is not gonna reduce gun violence,” Bernstine said.
“It’s a question of public safety and a question of do we accept reasonable limitations on an individual right in order to preserve safety and security for a broader population,” State Rep. Joseph Hohenstein said.
Democrats in the legislature can’t stop Bernstine. But the Democratic Governor can, his veto pen is mightier than the gun.
“The governor can determine whether he wants to stand with the constitution or whether he wants to stand with the special interests who want to take our guns away,” Bernstine said.
One longtime Democratic State Rep from Pittsburgh gave me a two-word answer when asked about the bill. He wouldn’t go on camera but said simply, “That’s stupid.”