**OPPOSE** H.B. 659 Permitless Concealed Carry
Next week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will likely consider legislation (House Bill 659, Bernstine) that would allow any Pennsylvanian to carry a concealed firearm in public without a permit.
The PA Police Chiefs Association and PA District Attorneys Association oppose this legislation because they know the danger of removing existing safeguards that allow law enforcement to ensure concealed firearm carriers act in a manner that does not endanger public safety. House Bill 659 would limit law enforcement’s ability to de-escalate dangerous and potentially deadly
Repealing this safeguard will make Pennsylvanians less safe. Under existing law, law enforcement can run more extensive background checks and evaluate the character and reputation of concealed carry applicants. This can include looking at whether they are involved in potential criminal activity, whether or not they have a disqualifying felony on the record, or if they have other concerning indicators such as domestic violence or substance abuse. Arizona
experienced a 44% increase in aggravated assaults committed with a firearm in the six years after enacting permitless carry in 2010.
The legislation would also lower the age for concealed carry from 21 to 18, posing additional risk for suicide and violence. People in the 18-21 age range commit a disproportionate number of violent crimes. Allowing concealed carry in this age group is reckless.
**SUPPORT** The Following Amendments
AMENDMENTS TO SUPPORT
● A01085, Warren: Expands background checks to cover all firearms, including private sale of long guns.
● A01240, Zabel: Includes firearms constructed to evade metal detectors or otherwise not look like a firearm under existing safeguards.
● A01249, Zabel; Bans the sale or transfer of completely non-metal firearms because of their ability to evade metal detectors, posing a public safety risk.
● A0135, Boyle: Limits access to large capacity magazines able to hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition or five continuously fed shotgun shells because they are often used in mass shootings.
4 More Pennsylvanians across the region are carrying concealed firearms, officials say. Chambersburg Public Opinion, Feb 23, 2021.5 New online option for concealed carry gun permit available in Fayette County. Herald-Standard, May 18, 2021. 6 Law enforcement leaders voice opposition to bills allowing unlicensed carry of handguns. CBS Austin, April 13, 2021
● A01242, Briggs: Creates a misdemeanor of the third degree if you fail to safely store your firearm and a minor gains access to it.
● A10348, Briggs: Requires individuals who have a license to carry a firearm to notify the sheriff’s office of a change of address within a short period after changing their driver’s license. ● A01246, Bullock: Prohibits possession of a firearm in a public park, recreation center, or pool owned or operated by the government.
● A01290, Bullock: Creates a grant program at PCCD to fund local efforts to reduce gun violence in municipalities facing high levels of homicide.
● A01302, Daley: Safeguards voting locations by prohibiting firearms at them; ● A01244, Gainey: Bans assault weapons that are often used in mass shootings to kill multiple people;
● A01295, Kinkead: Establishes Extreme Risk Protection Orders to provide a mechanism that would allow the temporary removal of a firearm from someone extremely likely to hurt themselves or others.
● A01299, Rabb: Cuts a source of illegal firearms by requiring gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within a short time period after discovering it is missing.
● A01238, Sanchez: Prohibits the sale of bumpstock because they are designed to increase the rate of fire for semi-automatic weapons, as evidenced in mass shootings like Las Vegas. ● A01236, Shusterman: Expands prohibition of firearms from courts to all government buildings, helping reduce likelihood of shooting as has happened in multiple Pennsylvania townships. ● A01256, Solomon: Closes a loophole that allows guns to be sold or given at gun shows without a background check.