Did Governor Tom Wolf just cancel PA residents’ rights to openly carry firearms, making it a felony?
Well, the back and forth continues between a PA Republican lawmaker and Governor Wolf’s office over whether a state of emergency declared by Tom Wolf to address an opioid crisis means that people can no longer open carry in PA so long as that emergency remains in place.
Here are two stories that how the GOP reps challenge of the state of emergency, and the response by Governor Wolf’s office, along with a local ABC News report.
While some were finding public policy fault with Gov. Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration on opioids earlier this week, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Scott Wagner came up with an entirely different line of attack.
Digging deep into state statute, the York County lawmaker says Wolf’s declaration, which was intended to ease bureaucratic hurdles and make it easier to fight one of the great public health crises of our time … violates the Second Amendment right to bear arms.
First, the chapter and verse: Title 18 of state statutes (which is where crime stuff resides) states that “No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive,” Wagner’s campaign helpfully pointed out in an email blast to reporters on Thursday.
Read More at PennLive
Gov. Tom Wolf’s office on Thursday refuted claims by Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, and others that the governor’s declaration Wednesday of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency would infringe on gun rights of citizens.
Wolf on Wednesday signed a 90-day disaster declaration, widening access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and making it easier for medical professionals to get people into drug treatment more quickly, the Associated Press reported. Seven other states have taken similar actions to address opioid abuse, a Wolf aide said.
State Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, who has said he is running for governor, contended Thursday that Wolf’s action was “another example of incompetence,” although he had initially praised it.
“While I earlier commended Governor Wolf for coming to the table to provide long overdue leadership on the opioid epidemic, further review of his statewide disaster emergency declaration has made it clear that he took the wrong approach,” Wagner said in a news release.
“There is no reason why addressing this crisis should come at the expense of our Second Amendment rights,” Wagner continued. “The sloppiness of this declaration is another example of the incompetence of this administration, and calls into question whether this was a good faith effort from the governor to help those suffering from addiction or just another thoughtless political ploy to silence the critics who’ve been saying (he) hasn’t done nearly enough on the issue.”
The debate about whether Tom Wolf’s emergency declaration affects gun rights or not does not fundamentally address the precedent long set that during periods of emergency, the government somehow has a right to confiscate weapons from people who, it would seem to me, would need defensive tools even more during times of crisis.