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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: July 18, 2019 03:12 PM
From: Representative Matthew D. Dowling
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to ensure the protection of Second Amendment Rights during declarations of emergency
Some concerns have been raised to me regarding the Second Amendment rights of the citizens of the Commonwealth during declarations of emergency.

Under Title 18, a declaration of emergency limits, among other things, the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. During an emergency, “no person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property…” with the exemption of those licensed to carry a firearm under section 6109, exempt from licensing under section 6106(b), or “actively engaged in defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.” An argument could be made that this declaration of emergency would limit Commonwealth residents’ right to open carry. In addition, Title 35 allows for the complete suspension of all firearm sales during an emergency as well.

I don’t believe either of these requirements are necessary under a state of emergency and propose that both be repealed. I hope you will join me in making certain that our fundamental Second Amendment rights are not infringed upon.

Introduced as HB1747