HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Tom Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 565 on Thursday. The proposed bill would have allowed anyone who wishes to carry concealed firearms without going through a background check and having to get a permit.
“This legislation, which eliminates the requirement for individuals to obtain a license before carrying a concealed firearm, will only exacerbate gun violence and jeopardize the safety of all Pennsylvanians.” Gov. Wolf said. “I would like to make clear that this veto will in no way affect the rights of the 1.3 million Pennsylvanians who have legally obtained a license to carry or the millions of Pennsylvanians who legally own a firearm.”
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As previously reported by Dennis Owens, Senate Bill 565 was passed by the Pennslyvania House back in mid-November by a 107-92 margin. Supporters of the idea said that law-abiding citizens should not have to jump through the extra hoops of getting a concealed carry license and permit.
But Gov. Wolf says that eliminating that extra step would prevent law enforcement be hindered if the bill was to be signed by him.
”This legislation removes the requirement that an individual obtains a license, and with it, the ability of law enforcement to conduct a background investigation,” Gov. Wolf said. “Removal of the licensing background investigation will hinder the ability of law enforcement to prevent individuals who should not be able to carry a firearm concealed from doing so. Domestic abusers and other dangerous criminals should not have the ability to carry hidden weapons in our communities.”
Many House Republicans were in favor of the proposed bill, but many Democrats were greatly opposed.
“As communities across the state struggle with crises like gun violence and suicide, Senate Bill 565 was a poorly timed, poorly conceived plan to expand access to firearms and would have risked the lives of more Pennsylvanians,” said House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, (D-Phila/Delaware).
Background checks are still required for people when they purchase firearms throughout the Commonwealth. Pennslyvania is known to have the most rigorous background check process in the country.