HARRISBURG – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence), a leading voice in protecting Pennsylvanians’ Second Amendment rights, voted with a majority of his House colleagues to send to the governor’s desk legislation that would no longer require law-abiding citizens to obtain government permission to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvanians’ Second Amendment rights is crystal clear that our right to keep and bear arms shall not be questioned,” said Bernstine. “Our current concealed carry permitting is an artificial government barrier to residents’ ability to protect themselves, their families and their property, and I am proud of my Republican colleagues today who joined me in standing up for law-abiding gun owners.”
Senate Bill 565
mirrors House Bill 659
, legislation Bernstine championed in the House to create a two-tiered system for concealed carrying of firearms by Pennsylvania’s citizens known as constitutional (or permitless) carry. The first level would allow individuals who pass a criminal background check upon purchase of a firearm to legally carry a handgun concealed without first having to obtain a License to Carry a Firearm (LTCF).
“The inconsistencies and duplicative abuses that occur within our existing permitting system violate the rights of law-abiding Pennsylvanians, and we must put a stop to this,” said Bernstine. “We can no longer stand by while those Pennsylvanians are forced to jump through hoops to exercise their God-given constitutional rights.”
Currently in Pennsylvania, law-abiding citizens can openly carry a firearm throughout the state without obtaining a LTCF. Bernstine noted that carrying a firearm concealed should be no different.
“Pennsylvanians who follow the law each day should not be punished or hindered simply because they choose to carry a firearm concealed,” he said.
Senate Bill 565 does provide citizens the ability to obtain an optional LTCF that is valid throughout Pennsylvania and would provide for carrying firearms in other states.
The legislation now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk for his consideration. If signed, Pennsylvania would join more than 20 other states that have similar carry laws.
Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)