HARRISBURG, PA. (WENY) – Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed legislation that would allow anyone to carry concealed guns without a background check and permit.
”Each year there are more than 1,600 victims of gun violence in Pennsylvania,” the governor said. “These victims and communities deserve to have meaningful legislation passed to address the scourge of gun violence. I support many public policy proposals that would help solve this urgent issue, including safe storage legislation, extreme risk protection orders, enhanced reporting requirements for lost or stolen guns, and closing gaps in the background check system. Unfortunately, this bill would make gun violence worse and would put law enforcement officers at greater risk of harm.”
According to a press release on the governor’s website, the veto does not plan on restricting the rights of the “1.3 million Pennsylvanians” who are lawful gun owners, as they can still conceal carry when they apply for a permit and successfully pass a background check. Instead, the move comes as a way to protect citizens against harmful legislation that puts public safety at risk across the commonwealth.
”This legislation removes the requirement that an individual obtain a license, and with it, the ability of law enforcement to conduct a background investigation,” said Gov. Wolf. “Removal of the licensing background investigation will hinder the ability of law enforcement to prevent individuals who should not be able to carry a firearm concealed from doing so. Domestic abusers and other dangerous criminals should not have the ability to carry hidden weapons in our communities.”
Nearly 360,000 license-to-carry background checks have been completed in 2021 so far, while nearly 11,000 were denied.