Senate backs bill to allow guns to be carried without permit

Associated Press HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s state Senate on Tuesday approved two veto-bound firearms bills, including one to allow people to carry a loaded gun openly or concealed, without a permit, and another to punish municipalities that impose firearms ordinances that are stricter than state law. Despite a certain veto from Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, floor debate lasted nearly three hours, as Democrats warned that the result of such legislation becoming law would be more death and more violence amid already-spiking gun violence and the spread of illegal guns. Republicans brushed aside the arguments, saying cities elsewhere with strict gun laws still have problems with gun violence and that law-abiding gun owners should not need the government’s permission to carry a firearm. “This is about our Second Amendment and our right to bear arms,” said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, during floor arguments. “The Second Amendment doesn’t say anything about restrictions on our right to bear arms.” Debate became testy after the sponsor of the permitless-carry bill, Sen. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, a former corrections office, seemed to re-enact a conversation he suggested he might have once had with a young inmate, and then blamed violence on young men who lack father figures. Sen. Anthony Williams, D-Philadelphia, took exception to Dush’s portrayal, saying that his rendering of the inmate’s accent and his reference to Philadelphia youth was stereotyping and insensitive, and an “affront to many fathers who lost their lives to gun violence.” Some young men grow […]

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