May. 17, 2021

HARRISBURG – Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence) today introduced “constitutional carry” legislation, which would no longer require law-abiding citizens to obtain a government-issued license to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania.

Constitutional carry, or permitless carry, allows 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.

Current law does not require citizens to obtain a license to openly carry a firearm in Pennsylvania.

Bernstine, a vocal pro-Second Amendment lawmaker, called the current concealed carry process a duplicative abuse of the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.

“Pennsylvanians who follow the law each day should not be punished or hindered just because they prefer to carry their weapon concealed,” said Bernstine. “Constitutional carry ensures that citizens have the right to protect themselves and their families without seeking a government permission slip.”

Bernstine’s bill, House Bill 659, would make available an optional concealed carry license which would be valid in other states that have a reciprocal agreement with Pennsylvania.

The bill’s introduction comes on the heels of new executive actions on gun control announced at the federal level.

House Bill 659 has 68 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors.

“The broad bipartisan support from my colleagues shows that law-abiding Pennsylvanians are tired of the constant attacks on our firearms rights,” said Bernstine.

Currently, 20 other states have constitutional carry, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Recently, Bernstine was interviewed by Pennsylvania House Second Amendment Caucus Chairman Matt Dowling about his proposed legislation. To view the interview, click here.

Representative Aaron Bernstine
10th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)