Bill Over Armed Citizens In Emergencies Stirs Things Up

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According to Firearm Chronicles 

The state of Pennsylvania has a bit of law that should be concerning to anyone who values the Second Amendment. In state law, there’s language that prohibits the carrying of firearms without a permit. Now, for many of us, this doesn’t sound like too big of a deal. There are several states that don’t allow that sort of thing, after all.

However, Pennsylvania has unlicensed open carry. Individuals can openly carry a firearm without a permit under normal circumstances.

The problem arises when the governor declares a state of emergency. Then, only those who are actively defending their lives or who have a permit can carry a firearm anywhere that’s not private property.

A bill was recently introduced to try and fix this. Now, the debate on that bill is starting to heat up.

As Pennsylvanians have taken to the Capitol steps in recent months to protest their government, some decided to take a shotgun or assault rifle along for the ride.

But many of those demonstrators may have been breaking a rarely enforced state law that bans openly carrying firearms during an official disaster declaration.

That potential collision of the right to bear arms and the state’s police power was eliminated by a bill that passed the state House in late June.

Legal observers say the law, as written, is on solid constitutional ground, but their opponents strenuously disagree.

Gov. Tom Wolf has declared two states of emergencies in the past months — the ongoing statewide COVID-19 emergency declaration, as well as a temporary declaration because of Black Lives Matter protests in some of the Commonwealth’s cities, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

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