Pennsylvania Senate and House approve bill allowing permitless gun carry — likely to be vetoed
The bill would allow permitless residents to carry loaded firearms, concealed or not.
On Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, Pennsylvania’s state senate approved a firearm bill allowing residents to carry guns without a permit.
One bill, passed by a House committee the next day, Nov. 10, 2021, would allow Pennsylvanians to carry loaded firearms — concealed or not — without a permit.
Tuesday’s chamber vote was 29-21, with majority support from Republicans. One democrat, Sen. Jim Brewster, voted in favor of the bill, and Republican Sen. Robert Tomlinson opposed.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee vote on the bill was 13-10 in favor.
Those in support — such as Republican Majority Leader Kim Ward of Westmoreland County — appear to be pursuing the bill as a personal and unconventional interpretation of the Second Amendment.
"This is about our Second Amendment and our right to bear arms… The Second Amendment doesn't say anything about restrictions on our right to bear arms,” said Ward.
As of now, Philadelphia requires a permit to carry loaded firearms. The approved bill would remove the city’s permit requirement.
Tuesday’s floor debate lasted three hours, with some warning the bill could spur higher rates of violence and death as well as the spread of illegal guns.
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, as well as a number of law enforcement organizations currently oppose the bill.
It is expected that the firearm bill will be ultimately vetoed by Governor Tom Wolf. The PA governor stated plans to veto the bill if it reaches him, calling it a “dangerous legislation.”