Abortion, gun-rights bills stall in Pa.’s General Assembly. What’s next

Abortion, gun-rights bills stall in Pa.'s General Assembly. What's next

A bill that would allow Pennsylvanians to carry concealed guns without a permit is apparently stalled in the House, with the sponsor saying he is “disgusted” that there has not been a vote and blaming fellow Republicans. At the same time, two hotly reproductive rights bills remain in a Senate committee after well-publicized and emotional debates in the House. Republicans control both chambers of the General Assembly with just two week left in the legislative session House Bill 659, introduced by state Rep. Aaron Bernstine, R-Lawrence County, would eliminate the need for a concealed carry permit and drop the age to conceal carry from 21 to 18. It passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, with one Republican joining Democrats in opposition on May 25. At a gun rights rally on June 7, Bernstine said his bill could be going to a vote that week, but it has repeatedly been held over for consideration. On June 9, just a few days after that rally, Bernstine posted a link to a petition on his campaign Facebook page, saying that a “small number of Republican legislators” were holding up a vote on the bill. “It is unfortunate that a loud minority of Republican legislators have successfully derailed this bill to avoid being held accountable to their voting record by their constituents,” Bernstine wrote. “As legislators, we owe it to the people of Pennsylvania to let them know where we stand on issues, especially when it comes to our constitutional rights.” Bernstine […]

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