Pennsylvania House passes bill to allow concealed gun carry without a permit

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One fourth of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is sworn-in, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. The ceremony was held in four separate sessions to provide for social distancing due to COVID-19. The ceremony marks the convening of the 2021-2022 legislative session of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

HARRISBURG, PA (WSKG) — A bill to allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit was passed by a divided Pennsylvania House on Tuesday, but faces a veto threat from the governor.

The parties were split in the vote, as occurred in the state Senate last week, with Republican mostly supporting it and Democrats mostly opposed.

Supporters said getting concealed carry permits under current law can be subject to the whims of county sheriffs and that concealed carry permit holders can forget when their licenses expire and therefore unknowingly violate the law.

Opponents pointed out the proposal is unlikely to be enacted, as Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said he will veto the legislation, and argued the bill would make people less safe by making guns more readily accessible.

Pennsylvanians are generally allowed to openly carry loaded firearms, although current law is silent on it. Only in Philadelphia is a permit required for it.

The legislation sent to Wolf would remove Philadelphia’s open-carry permit requirement, as well as the state’s requirement for people to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, including for storing them in their cars.