The Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement urging Governor Wolf to veto HB 1747 and HB 2440, which together would loosen restrictions on guns during a state of emergency and classify the sale and production of firearms and ammunition as life-sustaining.
“The last thing we need during this tumultuous time is weaker gun laws,” said Marybeth Christiansen, a volunteer with Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action. “Lawmakers should be ashamed that instead of taking up legislation that would make our communities safer, they continue to push gun lobby-backed bills. We implore Governor Wolf to veto these bills and take a stand for public safety.”
Repealing the prohibition against openly carrying firearms during a state of emergency would put Pennsylvanians at risk and give gun rights extremists an avenue to mount intimidation campaigns, as seen in states like Kentucky and Ohio in recent times. A visible gun has been found to make people more aggressive; therefore open carry makes it more likely that disagreements will turn into violent conflicts. Additionally, public officials should treat gun stores no differently than the hundreds of other non-essential businesses when making decisions on how to keep people safe during this emergency.