HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — To no one’s surprise, Governor Wolf vetoed a bill that would have made it easier to carry a concealed firearm. It was his 52nd veto, the most since Milton Shapp who left office in 1979.
Senate Bill 565 sailed through the Republican-controlled legislature. It would remove the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Governor Wolf, noting more than 500 homicides in Philly this year, and more than 100 in Pittsburgh, has taken aim at the bill for months. “That is just wrong, it is just wrong. It is incredibly disrespectful to shooting victims and their loved ones across Pennsylvania,” Gov. Wolf said.
On Thursday, as promised, Wolf vetoed 565. In a statement, he noted that Pa.’s Chiefs of Police and District Attorney’s Association opposed it, and now law enforcement supported it. But legislative Republicans are blasting Wolf’s veto.
“This is a bill that would help law-abiding citizens. People who perpetrate, perpetrators of violent crimes don’t care about laws or permits,” President Pro Tempore, Senator Jake Corman (R) said. He is stumping for Wolf’s job and was at an inner-city charter school in Harrisburg. He said bad guys with guns and violent crime should be the focus. “I would think our governor would be more interested in going after that issue as opposed to vetoing bills that help law-abiding citizens.”
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Wolf has repeatedly pushed for what he calls common-sense gun laws like extreme protection orders, required reporting of lost and stolen guns, safe storage legislation, and closing gaps in the background check system. Republicans like Corman, refuse to pull the trigger.
“Instead of acting to increase gun safety and reduce violence, they have instead repeatedly pushed dangerous legislation that will make all of us less safe,” Gov. Wolf said.
The governor says this year there were 360,000 concealed carry applications and 11,000 were denied. Those 11,000 he argues, would have slipped through if no permits were required.