|January 12, 2021 09:30 AM
|Representative Aaron Bernstine
|All House members
|Constitutional Carry of a Firearm
|In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will create a two-tiered system for the concealed carrying of firearms for lawful purposes in Pennsylvania.
This legislation will provide a new system for concealed carrying of firearms for Pennsylvanians. The first level would no longer require law abiding citizens to obtain a permit to carry a firearm concealed in Pennsylvania. This principle acknowledges that Pennsylvanians have a fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms (Article 1, Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution) and that no License to Carry a Firearm (LTCF) is currently required for law abiding citizens to openly carry a firearm throughout Pennsylvania. If a citizen passes a criminal background check to purchase a new firearm it is patently unjust and constitutionally questionable to add layers of bureaucratic regulations on those who are least likely to commit a crime just because the citizen prefers to carry his weapon concealed. Then when one examines the enforcement of the laws, against criminals, for ‘carrying firearms without a license’ the reasoning behind mandating a license ‘only’ for law abiding citizens quickly falls apart.
The second level provides citizens the ability to obtain an optional LTCF permit that is valid throughout Pennsylvania and would provide for carrying firearms in other states. (Currently, 32 states either recognize Pennsylvania LTCF’s or a reciprocity agreement is in effect.)
This legislation defends the rights of the citizens in our Commonwealth and I urge you all to co-sponsor this legislation. Those Pennsylvanians that follow the law each day should not be punished or hindered if they choose to carry a firearm.
Introduced as HB659