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PA – GUN CONTROL – Pa. Governor Tom Wolf vetoes bills on carrying and selling guns during a disaster

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D-Pa.) vetoed two gun bills that would repeal laws intended to control the carrying of guns and prevent public officials from shutting down firearms sales during emergency proclamations. The bills, which recently passed the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania State Senate, intended to limit Wolf’s powers during the COVID-19 pandemic and moving forward, AP News reported. Wolf, a Democrat who supports broader gun control measures, has previously vetoed more than six such bills. “The current disaster declarations in place are meant to help the administration fight the public health crises at hand and have no impact on citizens and their firearm rights,” Wolf’s office said in a statement on Nov. 19. The Senate confirmed both bills by identical 29-20 votes on Nov. 18, and both received approval from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives earlier this year. According to AP News, all but one Republican voted in favor of the bills, and all but one Democrat voted against them. While the first bill would repeal a provision that states “no person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property,” those who have a concealed-carry license would be exempt. Lawmakers say the law has gone largely unenforced, AP News reported. Rep. Matthew Dowling (R.-Fayette), the bill’s sponsor, however, believes the law could limit people from openly carrying a firearm which is not generally banned in the state, AP News reported. The second bill would block both the governor and local public officials from suspending or limiting the sale of firearms during a disaster emergency, AP News reported. To help respond to a disaster, governors can invoke a disaster emergency to bypass state regulations.  [full article]

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