Pennsylvania – Gov. Tom Wolf declared a state of emergency last week to combat the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania, but it could have some unintended consequences with guns and firearms laws.
By declaring a statewide emergency, Wolf activated an automatic trigger in the Crimes Code, which deals with Second Amendment Rights.
Here is the exact wording of that law and how it might affect you.
According to that, when an emergency is declared, no one will be allowed to carry a firearm publicly unless that person is actively protecting their life or property from peril or threat.
They would also be allowed to carry a firearm if they are licensed under section 6109 to carry a concealed weapon.
In another part of the Crimes Code that has been activated, the law states that no firearm or ammunition may be seized or confiscated during the state of emergency unless that confiscation would have been authorized even without the emergency.
State of emergencies are usually declared for natural disaster, in which the firearms precautions are meant to protect communities from looting and crimes. However, this is the first time that an emergency has been declared for public health and drugs.
Many officials are speaking out, saying that the firearm restrictions don’t make sense for this situation.
Representative Sheryl Delozier of Cumberland is working on introducing a bill that would protect Second Amendment rights as part of the opioid addiction state of emergency. The bill would still have to be passed in both the State House and Senate.
Read Gov. Tom Wolf’s official statement about declaring a statewide disaster emergency in response to opioid and heroin addiction.
Read Rep. Delozier’s memo about her hopes for a bill that would reinstate the gun rights.
Like Connect FM on Facebook for more local news each day: