The Pennsylvania chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of the Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf for vetoing a bill that would have allowed for the carry of concealed loaded handguns in public places without a permit. The bill had been hastily passed by the Senate during a late night session in early November, and a week later by the House of Representatives. Before its passage, Governor Wolf released a statement wherein he committed to vetoing any permitless carry bill that made it to his desk and urged lawmakers to focus on passing common sense gun safety measures.
“Gun violence is a public health crisis in Pennsylvania, but when common sense gun safety measures were on the table, state lawmakers forced through a dangerous permitless carry bill instead,” said Erin Buchner, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We are very grateful to Governor Wolf for vetoing this harmful legislation and putting an end to this bad faith effort to weaken our gun laws. The message is clear: Pennsylvania lawmakers need to spend their time promoting gun safety, not trying to dismantle it.”
The adoption of permitless carry laws strips away a critical tool that law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who should not be able to carry a loaded weapon in public. States that have weakened their firearm permitting system have experienced an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rates and a 13-15 percent increase in violent crime rates.
Information on gun violence in Pennsylvania can be found here.