Governor Tom Wolf (D-Pa) vetoed two pro-gun Senate bills seeking to prevent government officials from regulating firearms and closing gun shops during disasters or emergency declarations. Wolf claims that restricting firearms during disasters does not affect the people’s right to bear arms.
“The current disaster declarations in place are meant to help the administration fight the public health crises at hand and have no impact on citizens and their firearm rights,” Wolf’s office released a statement.
Contrary to his claims, people’s gun rights are affected when they are prohibited from openly carrying firearms or gun shops are closed and residents cannot purchase the necessary firearms and ammunition.
The two measures were approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year and the Senate approved both by a 29-20 majority. Only one Democrat joined the Republicans in passing the bills which would have checked on governors overreaching powers.
Unsurprisingly, the Democrats ganged up to block the bills from passing in both the House and the Senate. They also resorted to partisanship when legislators tried to override Wolf's veto on a non-partisan firearm bill a few months ago.
The bill sponsors led by Rep. Matthew Dowling (R.-Fayette) believed that the governor could limit open carry using emergency declarations. Consequently, the first bill intended to curtail his powers from making such unilateral decisions.
The second sought to prevent the governor from shutting down firearm businesses such as manufacturers, retailers, shooting ranges among others.
Wolf had closed gun-related businesses during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and was forced to reopen them with cumbersome restrictions after gun rights groups went to court.
The Democrat has vetoed six similar measures passed in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. He also pushed various gun control measures including universal background checks and punitive lost firearm reporting laws which the GOP legislators refuse to pass.
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