Constitutional Carry in Pennsylvania

As much as I’d love to see Constitutional Carry happen in Pennsylvania, there are a few problems associated with getting it done. The chief problem, that I see, is that Senate Judiciary is headed by Stu Greenleaf, who only tends to be pro-gun when he really feels like it. In addition to Greenleaf, there are a number of other weak kneed Republican Senators who would make passage of such a bill problematic. Remember that last year, we did not have the votes on Judiciary to even keep the silly Florida Loophole amendment off HB40. There are ways around the committee, but they can be problematic avenues.

What makes Pennsylvania problematic for Constitutional Carry is that the southeast is becoming less pro-gun. The Democrats here are almost uniformly anti, and the Republicans are precarious enough they don’t want to stake out strong positions on contentious issues. If suburban legislators start voting along with their urban counterparts, it’s over for this issue, and there are a lot of suburban GOP legislators that don’t think there will be much pro-gun cover for their votes in this decidedly anti-gun media market. Just as an example, we tried to knock off Steve Santarsiero this past election by backing the campaign of Rob Ciervo, and failed by a few hundred votes. It’s tough to unseat even the anti-gun politicians around here, let alone unseat the softies. Without some more solid representation on the gun issue in the suburbs, I’m afraid Constitutional Carry is going to be a serious uphill battle in the Keystone State.

20 thoughts on “Constitutional Carry in Pennsylvania”

  1. On the Ciervo campaign topic, it should be said that the race was close enough (less than 200 votes) that the help of a few more gun owners who would have made calls and knocked on some doors very easily could have thrown him over the finish line as the winner. Just sayin’ people in the Bucks…

  2. I guess it all comes down to those who own firearms not understanding what this means… it means we all have to get out and be loud yet polite and insistent with our reps and the media.

    Wookie suits can be left at home guys.. hearts and minds.

  3. The biggest thing you can do to make the pro gun movement stronger is to take a non gun owning friend to the range. Or ask your club to sponsor a bring a friend to the range day.

    I’ve gotten 4 people in the last 3 years to become gun owners, one now shooting competitively, and all three have joined the NRA. It really does work.

  4. In the 161st we replaced the reprehensible Bryan Lentz with the solidly pro-gun Joe Hackett.

    All is not lost in Delco.

  5. Philly is probably the biggest problem I’d say. The Florida loop hole crap originated there if I recall, which is only an issue because the City doesn’t like to issue permits even though it’s ‘shall issue’. The fact that NJ is just over the river probably doesn’t help much either.

  6. Pyro,

    Actually the Florida “Loophole” nonsense originated with the aforementioned Bryan Lentz. He was a suburban State rep who had a real vendetta against the 2A. He hated guns so much I often wondered if he was molested by a gun as a child. For some reason he thought that it would be a good idea to side with Philadelphia on this issue. He ran for a congressional seat against Pat Meehan last November and got his ass kicked (55% to 44% if I recall). So you see his stand on gun control really paid dividends for him in the election (sarcasm) against a weak candidate like Meehan.

    We now have a good 2A rep. in the form of Joe Hackett. See? It isn’t ALL bad news.

  7. Even is we could get the judiciary together, And it got to through the senate for a vote, John Hohenwarter and the NRA would show up just in time to destroy it. Just like they did to castle doctrine last year and just like they did to constitutional carry in NH yesterday.

  8. Respectfully, while you have itemized what are indeed some very real problems, the most basic problem is that they are all excuses for not doing anything about the issue. What we need to do is get someone to INTRODUCE LEGISLATION and then hold those legislators’ feet to the fire who style themselves as pro-gun stalwarts, yet fail to cosponsor or otherwise support it. We need recorded votes to document why the legislation doesn’t move along or succeed, if it doesn’t.

    For years now I have been quipping that you would think words on paper cost a nickel apiece, the way our “pro-gun” legislators think up excuses for not introducing significant legislation they swear they would support if only someone else were to introduce it. It’s long past time to stop accepting excuses.

    “The longest journey begins with a single step,” if you stumble on that first step. The necessary first step in this journey is introduce legislation.

  9. Skullz:

    Don’t give any credence to the nonsense being spewed about New Hampshire. NRA is not opposed to Constitutional Carry. I will have more to say about this tomorrow, but I’m trying to get in touch with Evan Nappen to get his side of the story.

    I also think I documented pretty thoroughly why Castle Doctrine was done the way it was done. I don’t honestly think you have any idea what you’re talking about.

  10. At the risk of being flayed, I’d have to say that given the uncomfortable left/right urban/rural balance in PA, political coin would be better spent on securing and expanding other functionally important and less flashy/contentious gunrights issues in PA.

    Basic carriage rights are wide, secure, and have a low bar in this state, especially when compared to a lot of nonsense that occurs in other “shall issue” states.

    All politics is war, all war is resource allocation, and when resources are tight, it’s imprudent to spend big on flashy items of low practical priority.

  11. Andy:

    Holding their feet to the fire means, at the end of the day, the ability to remove from office the people who won’t do what we want. Just to use an example, though you could take your pick of soft GOP old timers in this area:

    How do we get rid of Stu Greenleaf?

    I agree we need to get it introduced, and I’m hoping that will happen soon. But introduction is just a first step. I’m less optimistic we can topple some of the problematic politicians in this area when it comes to actually getting it passed.

    I should clarify, it will be very easy to replace Stu Greenleaf, who is with us some of the time, with a heart-felt anti-gun Democrat who will be with us none of the time, and may even be a leader in the legislature against us. I think that’s the likely outcome if Greenleaf were knocked off by a solidly pro-gun Republican, just because of the way that district is trending.

    I think you have to work with the legislature you are dealt. You can try to make it better, but that’s a slow process. If gun owners could consistently knock off any candidate who thwarted them, we could ask for the world and politically destroy anyone who told us otherwise. But we don’t have that kind of power in this area. I wish we did, but I don’t think we do.

  12. Geek:

    It’s fair. If getting rid of PICS is more doable in the short term I’d love to get that accomplished. That would also, presumably, get rid of the State Police registry that they claim isn’t really a registry.

  13. Sebastian, If the NRA is backing the crap that Hogenwater is doing in new Hamphire and Pa, they are going to lose a lot of members, i guarantee it, u need to get out of your chair more , Hogenwater is either a loose cannon or the NRA needs to readjust there liasons

  14. I’m working on an article about the NH issue, but it’s complex, and I want to make sure I understand the issues and hear from both sides.

    The PA issue with HB40 is well documented.

    And to be honest NRA doesn’t need members who are going to armchair quarterback their lobbyists.

  15. I don’t mean that no one should question, but at least have all your facts before rendering judgement. First fact to start with is the guy’s name. Hohenwarter.

  16. I got my facts, just not my spelling,, and your right they dont need members, and ill be sure to tell their officers you said that, when they beg again

  17. Sebastian:

    Forgive me for not really knowing, but what steps were taken to “knock off” Steve Santarsiero in the last election? Were any mailings by anyone done into his district, etc.? I don’t live in his district, but I live close, and if anything energetic was being done, the sound of it didn’t reach me.

    I am asking that question relative to your question, “What do we do to get rid of Stewart Greenleaf?” My point being, a gaggle of gun rights activists getting together and agreeing over beers or at a website or at a rally that we really, really don’t like someone, doesn’t really amount to much of a campaign. Despite its bold self-image, the RKBA community in PA is really quite passive, depending on things like, the hope that people will seek out their websites to get information as to who to vote for, to try to influence electoral outcomes. The number of people who are reached that way, in any given district, is less than negligible, and the number motivated is even smaller.

    Not to ramble too far on tactics, but it sometimes isn’t necessary to “get rid” of a bad guy, if the fear of God can be placed in him; for example, by picking someone we CAN get rid of, and claiming his scalp. Suddenly our issue will become a lot more credible, even in “safe” districts.

  18. “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity.” Sitting assemblymen cannot divorce themselves from the acts of their predecessors, pretending that it’s not their responsibility because they didn’t pass the law in the first place. “Support” of the constitutions requires more than that. A so-called ‘constitutional carry’ bill should appear every session because repealing the unconstitutional law is the right thing to do, regardless if it would ever be passed.

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