Polarizing bill to eliminate permits for concealed carry moves in House

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 565 on Tuesday night. The bill eliminates the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The bill passed by a 107-92 vote margin. It now heads to Governor Wolf’s desk.

“The legislation to assert Pennsylvanian’s constitutional right to carry firearms without a permit protects the Second Amendment and Article 1, sec. 21 state constitutional rights of legal gun owners. The bill changes nothing regarding who can legally own a gun and takes nothing away from law enforcement from going after those owning and using guns illegally,” House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre, Mifflin) said.

This is a developing story. abc27 will provide more updates as they become available.

Below is information preceding today’s House hearings and results.

It’s called Constitutional Carry, and it would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Pennsylvania. Supporters of the idea say law-abiding gun owners should not have to jump through that extra hoop. Critics wonder why lawmakers are prioritizing easing gun restrictions.

Senate Bill 565 would make a license to carry no longer necessary.

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“A lot of folks in my district support this bill, and bills like this bill, which is why I’m supporting it,” State Representative Torren Ecker (R), Cumberland/Adams Counties, said.

Rep. Ecker says gun rights are sacrosanct in his district. Same with State Representative Rob Kauffman (R), Franklin County.

“Once you own the gun legally, you have the Constitutional right to have it on you and protect yourself,” State Rep. Kauffman said.

“I am vehemently opposed,” State Representative Jordan Harris (D), Philadelphia, said.

Big-city Democrats like Philadelphia’s Harris see homicides at a record pace and question why easing gun restrictions is a priority.

“We’re wasting time on a piece of legislation that’s gonna be vetoed. We know there’s no votes to override the governor’s veto, we’re literally wasting time when Pennsylvanians have sent us here to address the issues that are of the utmost importance to them and I personally believe this is not one of them,” State Rep. Harris said.

Governor Tom Wolf will veto so are Republicans just pandering?

“There is no pandering,” State Rep. Kauffman said. “We are saying to law-abiding Pennsylvania gun owners that we stand with you and we do not legislate according to what the governor does.”

We should note there are still background checks when people purchase firearms and Pennsylvania’s background checks are among the most stringent in the nation.

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