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PRINTER'S NO. 1730
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
HOUSE BILL
No.
1412
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY BERNSTINE, RYAN, ROTHMAN, DIAMOND, DUNBAR, GROVE,
RAPP, KEEFER, BOROWICZ, ZIMMERMAN AND METCALFE, MAY 6, 2019
REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY, MAY 6, 2019
AN ACT
Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions, further
providing for definitions; in inchoate crimes, further
providing for prohibited offensive weapons; and, in firearms
and other dangerous articles, repealing provisions relating
to firearms not to be carried without a license, providing
for license not required, repealing provisions relating to
carrying firearms on public streets or public property in
Philadelphia, providing for sportsman's firearm permit,
further providing for licenses and repealing provisions
relating to proof of license and exception.
The General Assembly finds that:
(1) The laws in existence regulating firearms ownership,
possession and use are ineffectual in preventing crime and
only interfere with the natural rights of law-abiding
citizens.
(2) It is necessary to codify the inherent right to the
carrying of firearms, whether openly or concealed, and that
the right to self-defense is an inherent natural right that
shall not be questioned as stated in section 21 of Article I
of the Constitution of Pennsylvania.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 103 of Title 18 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a definition to read:
§ 103. Definitions.
Subject to additional definitions contained in subsequent
provisions of this title which are applicable to specific
provisions of this part, the following words and phrases when
used in this title shall have, unless the context clearly
indicates otherwise, the meanings given to them in this section:
* * *
"Lawful purpose." The term includes possession for the
purpose of self-defense or the exercise of reasonable force in
defense of the person or the person's property under Chapter 5
(relating to general principles of justification).
* * *
Section 2. Section 908(c) of Title 18 is amended to read:
§ 908. Prohibited offensive weapons.
* * *
(c) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
subsection:
"Firearm." Any weapon which is designed to or may readily be
converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive
or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.
"Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-
off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially
made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge,
any blackjack, sandbag[,] or metal knuckles, [dagger, knife,
razor or cutting instrument, the blade of which is exposed in an
automatic way by switch, push-button, spring mechanism, or
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otherwise,] any stun gun, stun baton, taser or other electronic
or electric weapon or other implement for the infliction of
serious bodily injury which serves no [common] lawful purpose.
* * *
Section 3. Section 6106 of Title 18 is repealed:
[§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.--
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who
carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a
firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place
of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and
lawfully issued license under this chapter commits a felony
of the third degree.
(2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
valid license under this chapter but carries a firearm in any
vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or
about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place
of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license and
has not committed any other criminal violation commits a
misdemeanor of the first degree.
(b) Exceptions.--The provisions of subsection (a) shall not
apply to:
(1) Constables, sheriffs, prison or jail wardens, or
their deputies, policemen of this Commonwealth or its
political subdivisions, or other law-enforcement officers.
(2) Members of the army, navy, marine corps, air force
or coast guard of the United States or of the National Guard
or organized reserves when on duty.
(3) The regularly enrolled members of any organization
duly organized to purchase or receive such firearms from the
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United States or from this Commonwealth.
(4) Any persons engaged in target shooting with a
firearm, if such persons are at or are going to or from their
places of assembly or target practice and if, while going to
or from their places of assembly or target practice, the
firearm is not loaded.
(5) Officers or employees of the United States duly
authorized to carry a concealed firearm.
(6) Agents, messengers and other employees of common
carriers, banks, or business firms, whose duties require them
to protect moneys, valuables and other property in the
discharge of such duties.
(7) Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing,
repairing, or dealing in firearms, or the agent or
representative of any such person, having in his possession,
using or carrying a firearm in the usual or ordinary course
of such business.
(8) Any person while carrying a firearm which is not
loaded and is in a secure wrapper from the place of purchase
to his home or place of business, or to a place of repair,
sale or appraisal or back to his home or place of business,
or in moving from one place of abode or business to another
or from his home to a vacation or recreational home or
dwelling or back, or to recover stolen property under section
6111.1(b)(4) (relating to Pennsylvania State Police), or to a
place of instruction intended to teach the safe handling, use
or maintenance of firearms or back or to a location to which
the person has been directed to relinquish firearms under 23
Pa.C.S. § 6108 (relating to relief) or back upon return of
the relinquished firearm or to a licensed dealer's place of
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business for relinquishment pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.2
(relating to relinquishment for consignment sale, lawful
transfer or safekeeping) or back upon return of the
relinquished firearm or to a location for safekeeping
pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108.3 (relating to relinquishment
to third party for safekeeping) or back upon return of the
relinquished firearm.
(9) Persons licensed to hunt, take furbearers or fish in
this Commonwealth, if such persons are actually hunting,
taking furbearers or fishing as permitted by such license, or
are going to the places where they desire to hunt, take
furbearers or fish or returning from such places.
(10) Persons training dogs, if such persons are actually
training dogs during the regular training season.
(11) Any person while carrying a firearm in any vehicle,
which person possesses a valid and lawfully issued license
for that firearm which has been issued under the laws of the
United States or any other state.
(12) A person who has a lawfully issued license to carry
a firearm pursuant to section 6109 (relating to licenses) and
that said license expired within six months prior to the date
of arrest and that the individual is otherwise eligible for
renewal of the license.
(13) Any person who is otherwise eligible to possess a
firearm under this chapter and who is operating a motor
vehicle which is registered in the person's name or the name
of a spouse or parent and which contains a firearm for which
a valid license has been issued pursuant to section 6109 to
the spouse or parent owning the firearm.
(14) A person lawfully engaged in the interstate
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transportation of a firearm as defined under 18 U.S.C. §
921(a)(3) (relating to definitions) in compliance with 18
U.S.C. § 926A (relating to interstate transportation of
firearms).
(15) Any person who possesses a valid and lawfully
issued license or permit to carry a firearm which has been
issued under the laws of another state, regardless of whether
a reciprocity agreement exists between the Commonwealth and
the state under section 6109(k), provided:
(i) The state provides a reciprocal privilege for
individuals licensed to carry firearms under section
6109.
(ii) The Attorney General has determined that the
firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws
of this Commonwealth.
(16) Any person holding a license in accordance with
section 6109(f)(3).
(c) Sportsman's firearm permit.--
(1) Before any exception shall be granted under
paragraph (b)(9) or (10) of this section to any person 18
years of age or older licensed to hunt, trap or fish or who
has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs, such
person shall, at the time of securing his hunting, furtaking
or fishing license or any time after such license has been
issued, secure a sportsman's firearm permit from the county
treasurer. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be issued
immediately and be valid throughout this Commonwealth for a
period of five years from the date of issue for any legal
firearm, when carried in conjunction with a valid hunting,
furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to hunting
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dogs. The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in triplicate
on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State Police.
The original permit shall be delivered to the person, and the
first copy thereof, within seven days, shall be forwarded to
the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police by the
county treasurer. The second copy shall be retained by the
county treasurer for a period of two years from the date of
expiration. The county treasurer shall be entitled to collect
a fee of not more than $6 for each such permit issued, which
shall include the cost of any official form. The Pennsylvania
State Police may recover from the county treasurer the cost
of any such form, but may not charge more than $1 for each
official permit form furnished to the county treasurer.
(2) Any person who sells or attempts to sell a
sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of that amount
fixed under this subsection commits a summary offense.
(d) Revocation of registration.--Any registration of a
firearm under subsection (c) of this section may be revoked by
the county treasurer who issued it, upon written notice to the
holder thereof.
(e) Definitions.--
(1) For purposes of subsection (b)(3), (4), (5), (7) and
(8), the term "firearm" shall include any weapon which is
designed to or may readily be converted to expel any
projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or
receiver of the weapon.
(2) As used in this section, the phrase "place of
instruction" shall include any hunting club, rifle club,
rifle range, pistol range, shooting range, the premises of a
licensed firearms dealer or a lawful gun show or meet.]
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Section 4. Title 18 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 6106.2. License not required.
(a) Declaration.--Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, every person present in this Commonwealth shall have an
affirmative, fundamental and constitutional right to keep and
bear firearms, including the right to carry openly or concealed,
carry loaded or unloaded, transport, possess, use, acquire,
purchase, transfer, inherit, buy, sell, give or otherwise
dispose of or receive any firearm or self-defense device without
a license, permission or restriction of any kind from or by this
Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions.
(b) Optional license.--Obtaining a license to carry a
firearm under this chapter shall be optional. The voluntary
nature of the license shall not be construed to require that any
person obtain a license to carry a firearm under this chapter.
Section 5. Section 6108 of Title 18 is repealed:
[§ 6108. Carrying firearms on public streets or public property
in Philadelphia.
No person shall carry a firearm, rifle or shotgun at any time
upon the public streets or upon any public property in a city of
the first class unless:
(1) such person is licensed to carry a firearm; or
(2) such person is exempt from licensing under section
6106(b) of this title (relating to firearms not to be carried
without a license).]
Section 6. Title 18 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 6108.1. Sportsman's firearm permit.
(a) Permit allowed.--Any person 18 years of age or older who
has been issued a hunting license, trapping license or fishing
license or who has been issued a permit relating to hunting dogs
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may, at the time of obtaining his hunting, trapping or fishing
license or any time after the license has been issued, obtain a
sportsman's firearm permit from the county treasurer.
(b) Issuance.--The sportsman's firearm permit shall be
issued immediately and shall be valid throughout this
Commonwealth for a period of five years from the date of issue
for any legal firearm when carried in conjunction with a valid
hunting, furtaking or fishing license or permit relating to
hunting dogs.
(c) Form.--The sportsman's firearm permit shall be in
triplicate on a form to be furnished by the Pennsylvania State
Police. The original permit shall be delivered to the person,
and a copy of the permit shall be forwarded to the Commissioner
of Pennsylvania State Police by the county treasurer within
seven days of the date of delivery. A copy of the permit shall
be retained by the county treasurer for a period of two years
from the date of expiration.
(d) Fee.--The county treasurer may collect a fee of not more
than $6 for each permit issued, which shall include the cost of
any official form. The Pennsylvania State Police may recover
from the county treasurer the cost of the form, but may not
charge more than $1 for each official permit form furnished to
the county treasurer.
(e) Offense.--A person who sells or attempts to sell a
sportsman's firearm permit for a fee in excess of the amount
determined under this section commits a summary offense.
Section 7. Section 6109(a), (b), (c), (d) heading,
introductory paragraph, (3), (4) and (5), (e)(1) introductory
paragraph, (i), (v) and (vii), (3) introductory paragraph and
(ii) and (4), (f)(2) and (4), (g), (h)(3) and (4), (i.1) heading
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and (1), (j) and (m.1)(1) introductory paragraph and (ii), (2),
(3), (4), (7) and (9) of Title 18 are amended to read:
§ 6109. Licenses.
(a) Purpose of license.--[A license to carry a firearm shall
be for the purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about
one's person or in a vehicle throughout this Commonwealth.]
(1) Due to every Commonwealth citizen having a
fundamental constitutional right to keep and bear arms,
obtaining a license under this section shall be optional.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that a
person must obtain a license under this section in order to
carry a concealed firearm.
(2) The voluntary nature of a license to carry a firearm
may not be construed to relieve the issuing authority of the
burden of proof for denying an application for a license.
Issuance of a license to carry a firearm under this section
by the proper authority shall be prima facie evidence that
law enforcement authorities have verified that the individual
is qualified under the law and is not prohibited from
possessing firearms under section 6105 (relating to persons
not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer
firearms) or under any other provision of the laws of this
Commonwealth.
(3) A license to carry a firearm shall be available to
those who wish to carry a firearm openly or concealed on or
about one's person or in a vehicle and shall be valid
throughout this Commonwealth.
(4) A license to carry a firearm shall provide citizens
of this Commonwealth with the ability to carry a firearm in
any state with which the Commonwealth maintains a reciprocal
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agreement for the mutual recognition of licenses to carry
firearms.
(b) Place of application.--An individual who is 21 years of
age or older may apply to [a sheriff] the proper issuing
authority for a license to carry a firearm [concealed on or
about his person or in a vehicle] within this Commonwealth. If
the applicant is a resident of this Commonwealth, he shall make
application with the sheriff of the county in which he resides
or, if a resident of a city of the first class, with the chief
of police of that city. If the applicant is not a resident of
this Commonwealth, he shall make application with the sheriff of
any county.
(c) Form of application and content.--The application for a
license to carry a firearm shall be uniform throughout this
Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed by the
[Pennsylvania State Police] Attorney General. The form may
contain provisions, not exceeding one page, to assure compliance
with this section. Issuing authorities shall use only the
application form prescribed by the [Pennsylvania State Police]
Attorney General. One of the following reasons for obtaining a
firearm license shall be set forth in the application: self-
defense, employment, hunting and fishing, target shooting, gun
collecting or another proper reason. The application form shall
be dated and signed by the applicant and shall contain the
following statement:
I have never been convicted of a crime that prohibits me
from possessing or acquiring a firearm under Federal or
State law. I am of sound mind and have never been
involuntarily committed to a mental institution or if I
was involuntarily committed, the involuntary commitment
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has been expunged. I hereby certify that the statements
contained herein are true and correct to the best of my
knowledge and belief. I understand that, if I knowingly
make any false statements herein, I am subject to
penalties prescribed by law. I authorize the [sheriff, or
his designee, or, in the case of first class cities, the
chief or head of the police department] issuing
authority, or his designee, to inspect only those records
or documents relevant to information required for this
application. If I am issued a license and knowingly
become ineligible to legally possess or acquire firearms,
I will promptly notify the [sheriff of the county in
which I reside or, if I reside in a city of the first
class, the chief of police of that city] issuing
authority.
(d) [Sheriff to conduct] Pre-issuance investigation.--The
[sheriff] issuing authority to whom the application is made
shall:
* * *
[(3) investigate whether the applicant's character and
reputation are such that the applicant will not be likely to
act in a manner dangerous to public safety;]
(4) investigate whether the applicant would be precluded
from receiving a license under subsection (e)(1) or section
6105(h) [(relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms)]; and
(5) conduct a criminal background, juvenile delinquency
and mental health check [following the procedures set forth
in section 6111 (relating to sale or transfer of firearms),
receive] by contacting the National Instant Criminal
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Background Check System and must have received a unique
approval number for that inquiry and record the date and
number on the application.
(e) Issuance of license.--
(1) A license to carry a firearm shall be [for the
purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about one's
person or in a vehicle and shall be issued if,] issued after
an investigation not to exceed [45] 14 calendar days, [it
appears that the applicant is an individual concerning whom
no] unless good cause exists to deny the license. A license
shall not be issued to any of the following:
[(i) An individual whose character and reputation is
such that the individual would be likely to act in a
manner dangerous to public safety.]
* * *
(v) An individual who is not of sound mind or who
has ever been involuntarily committed to a mental
institution, unless the involuntary commitment has been
expunged.
* * *
[(vii) An individual who is a habitual drunkard.]
* * *
(3) The license to carry a firearm shall be designed to
be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be in a
form prescribed by the [Pennsylvania State Police] Attorney
General. The license shall bear the following:
* * *
(ii) The signature of the [sheriff] authority
issuing the license.
* * *
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(4) The [sheriff] issuing authority shall require a
photograph of the licensee on the license. The photograph
shall be in a form compatible with the Commonwealth Photo
Imaging Network.
* * *
(f) Term of license.--
* * *
(2) At least 60 days prior to the expiration of each
license, the issuing [sheriff] authority shall send to the
licensee an application for renewal of license. Failure to
receive a renewal application shall not relieve a licensee
from the responsibility to renew the license.
* * *
[(4) Possession of a license, together with a copy of
the person's military orders showing the dates of overseas
deployment, including the date that the overseas deployment
ends, shall constitute, during the extension period specified
in paragraph (3), a defense to any charge filed pursuant to
section 6106 (relating to firearms not to be carried without
a license) or 6108 (relating to carrying firearms on public
streets or public property in Philadelphia).]
(g) Grant or denial of license.--Upon the receipt of an
application for a license to carry a firearm, the [sheriff]
issuing authority shall, within [45] 14 calendar days, issue or
refuse to issue a license on the basis of the investigation
under subsection (d) and the accuracy of the information
contained in the application. If the [sheriff] issuing authority
refuses to issue a license, the [sheriff] issuing authority
shall notify the applicant in writing of the refusal and the
specific reasons. The notice shall be sent by certified mail to
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the applicant at the address set forth in the application.
(h) Fee.--
* * *
(3) An additional fee of $1 shall be paid by the
applicant for a license to carry a firearm and shall be
remitted by the [sheriff] issuing authority to the Firearms
License Validation System Account, which is hereby
established as a special restricted receipt account within
the General Fund of the State Treasury. The account shall be
used for purposes under subsection (l). Moneys credited to
the account and any investment income accrued are hereby
appropriated on a continuing basis to the Pennsylvania State
Police.
(4) No fee other than that provided by this subsection
or the Sheriff Fee Act may be assessed by the [sheriff]
issuing authority for the performance of any background check
made pursuant to this act.
* * *
(i.1) Notice to [sheriff] issuing authority.--
Notwithstanding any statute to the contrary:
(1) Upon conviction of a person for a crime specified in
section 6105(a) or (b) or upon conviction of a person for a
crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding one year or upon a
determination that the conduct of a person meets the criteria
specified in section 6105(c)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6) or (9),
the court shall determine if the defendant has a license to
carry firearms issued pursuant to this section. If the
defendant has such a license, the court shall notify the
[sheriff of the county in which that person resides] issuing
authority, on a form developed by the [Pennsylvania State
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Police] Attorney General, of the identity of the person and
the nature of the crime or conduct which resulted in the
notification. The notification shall be transmitted by the
judge within seven days of the conviction or determination.
* * *
(j) Immunity.--[A sheriff] An issuing authority who complies
in good faith with this section shall be immune from liability
resulting or arising from the action or misconduct with a
firearm committed by any individual to whom a license to carry a
firearm has been issued.
* * *
(m.1) Temporary emergency licenses.--
(1) A person seeking a temporary emergency license to
carry a concealed firearm shall submit to the [sheriff]
issuing authority of the county in which the person resides
all of the following:
* * *
(ii) A sworn affidavit that contains the information
required on an application for a license to carry a
firearm and attesting that the person is 21 years of age
or older, is not prohibited from owning firearms under
section 6105 [(relating to persons not to possess, use,
manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms)] or any
other Federal or State law and is not currently subject
to a protection from abuse order or a protection order
issued by a court of another state.
* * *
(2) Upon receipt of the items required under paragraph
(1), the [sheriff] issuing authority immediately shall
conduct a criminal history, juvenile delinquency and mental
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health record check of the applicant pursuant to section
6105. Immediately upon receipt of the results of the records
check, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall review the
information and shall determine whether the applicant meets
the criteria set forth in this subsection. If the [sheriff]
issuing authority determines that the applicant has met all
of the criteria, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall
immediately issue the applicant a temporary emergency license
to carry a concealed firearm.
(3) If the [sheriff] issuing authority refuses to issue
a temporary emergency license, the [sheriff] issuing
authority shall specify the grounds for the denial in a
written notice to the applicant. The applicant may appeal the
denial or challenge criminal records check results that were
the basis of the denial, if applicable, in the same manner as
a denial of a license to carry a firearm under this section.
(4) A temporary emergency license issued under this
subsection shall be valid for 45 days and may not be renewed.
A person who has been issued a temporary emergency license
under this subsection shall not be issued another temporary
emergency license unless at least five years have expired
since the issuance of the prior temporary emergency license.
During the 45 days the temporary emergency license is valid,
the [sheriff] issuing authority shall conduct an additional
investigation of the person for the purposes of determining
whether the person may be issued a license pursuant to this
section. If, during the course of this investigation, the
[sheriff] issuing authority discovers any information that
would have prohibited the issuance of a license pursuant to
this section, the [sheriff] issuing authority shall be
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authorized to revoke the temporary emergency license as
provided in subsection (i).
* * *
(7) [A sheriff] An issuing authority who issues a
temporary emergency license to carry a firearm shall retain,
for the entire period during which the temporary emergency
license is in effect, the evidence of imminent danger that
the applicant submitted to the [sheriff] issuing authority
that was the basis for the license, or a copy of the
evidence, as appropriate.
* * *
(9) Prior to the expiration of a temporary emergency
license, if the [sheriff] issuing authority has determined
pursuant to investigation that the person issued a temporary
emergency license is not disqualified and if the temporary
emergency license has not been revoked pursuant to subsection
(i), the [sheriff] issuing authority shall issue a license
pursuant to this section that is effective for the balance of
the five-year period from the date of the issuance of the
temporary emergency license. Records and all other
information, duties and obligations regarding such licenses
shall be applicable as otherwise provided in this section.
* * *
Section 8. Section 6122 of Title 18 is repealed:
[§ 6122. Proof of license and exception.
(a) General rule.--When carrying a firearm concealed on or
about one's person or in a vehicle, an individual licensed to
carry a firearm shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement
officer, produce the license for inspection. Failure to produce
such license either at the time of arrest or at the preliminary
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hearing shall create a rebuttable presumption of nonlicensure.
(b) Exception.--An individual carrying a firearm on or about
his person or in a vehicle and claiming an exception under
section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without
a license) shall, upon lawful demand of a law enforcement
officer, produce satisfactory evidence of qualification for
exception.]
Section 9. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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