Pennsylvania is moving forward with Constitutional Carry as the legislation has passed committee and will go to the Pennsylvania House for further consideration and a vote.
The state House Judiciary Committee voted 14 to 11 in favor of House Bill 659, moving it to the full House for further consideration. The measure recognizes the right of an individual over 21 years of age, who has passed a criminal background check upon purchase of a firearm, to legally carry a handgun concealed without first having to obtain government permission.
“House Bill 659 defends the rights of the citizens in our Commonwealth,” said state Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence), sponsor of the bill. “Those Pennsylvanians who follow the law each day should not be punished or hindered if they choose to carry a firearm.”
The move would keep the state’s License to Carry a Firearm, or LTCF, permit program in place, but make it optional for those seeking to carry to first pick up such a permit. The shall-issue permits are popular, with no less than 311,224 issued as reported by county sheriffs’ offices and the city of Philadelphia in 2020 alone. Currently, 32 states recognize Pennsylvania’s LTCFs, an enticement for residents to secure such a permit for use while traveling.
“There is bipartisan support from my colleagues,” said Bernstine of his bill. “By removing the licensing requirement, it removes an artificial barrier to residents’ right to bear arms and ensures more Pennsylvanians have access to personal protection in public.”
Constitutional Carry is the legislation at the forefront of the 2A discussion and more states are hoping on board every day.