HARRISBURG — Tonight the Pennsylvania Senate sent two gun-related bills to Gov. Wolf’s desk that would expand open carry laws during emergencies and declare gun-related businesses so “life sustaining” that they can never be closed–House Bills 1747 and 2440, respectively.
This legislation would further endanger the public as Pennsylvania firearm sales edge towards the 1 million mark for 2020 and gun deaths rise rapidly. In a statement issued soon after the bill passed, CeaseFire Pennsylvania’s Executive Director Adam Garber urged Governor Wolf to immediately veto the legislation:
“Rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 are taking the lives of too many of our loved ones and neighbors, but the Pennsylvania Senate decided to put the health of the gun industry before that of Pennsylvanians.
“That is dangerous and unnecessary. With gun sales skyrocketing, no one is having trouble accessing weapons.
“Our elected officials should focus on the fact that massive gun sales and the pandemic have become a deadly mix resulting in more violence in communities across the state. Concern has grown about gun suicides as people face the mental struggles of isolation and the economic challenges, and shootings and homicides in many cities have climbed.
“Instead of addressing this public health crisis, the General Assembly is hanging a permanent ‘open’ sign on gun-related businesses, This could even prevent the closure of those that sell weapons to people who cannot legally own them or those that fail to meet basic businesses requirements. And then, they are taking away key provisions that allow local officials to keep communities safe during emergencies.
“This isn’t about the economy or responsible gun owners. These bills will simply inflame a public health crisis that has already taken the lives of too many Pennsylvanians. Governor Wolf should veto HB 1747 and HB 2440 immediately and urge legislators to focus on ending both public health crises: COVID-19 and gun violence.”