PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — A little known bill has reached the Senate Judiciary Committee of Pennsylvania legislature. Nestled within its insidious pages are provisions that would greatly restrict and infringe the gun rights of every Pennsylvania resident. Senate Bill 1029 was first introduced by Senators Art Haywood and Vincent Hughes on October 9, 2015 and quickly passed to the judiciary committee without so much as a peep from the other senators.
What’s in SB 1029? We’ve included a link to the full text of the bill here. Read it for yourself but it looks like a major shift into New Jersey-style firearms restrictions that up to this point had not affected most Pennsylvanians. SB 1029 looks like it intends to amend the ability to gain access to training, firearms, and even a concealed carry permit.
Let’s start off with the new ‘Firearm Eligibility License’… It’s meant as one of many additional amendments to Section 1. Section 6102 of Title 18 of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. It reads:
“Firearm eligibility license.” A license issued by the
commissioner that authorizes a person to purchase, possess,
control or use a firearm.
This looks strangely similar to Illinois’ FOID license — required by all residents in order to obtain or purchase a firearm. However, Pennsylvania goes ONE STEP FURTHER by regulating the mere possession of a firearm!
Let’s go further down this dark rabbit hole…
(Underlined text shows what’s being amended in this bill)
Section 4. Section 6106(a) of Title 18 is amended to read:
§ 6106. Firearms not to be carried without a license.
(a) Offense defined.–
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), any person who carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license [under this chapter] to carry under section 6109 (relating to license to carry) commits a felony of the third degree.
(2) A person who is otherwise eligible to possess a valid license [under this chapter] to carry under section 6109 but carries a firearm in any vehicle or any person who carries a firearm concealed on or about his person, except in his place of abode or fixed place of business, without a valid and lawfully issued license to carry and has not committed any other criminal violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree.
So if this bill passes, Pennsylvanians who transport firearms in their vehicles and do not have a Firearm Eligibility Card will be convicted of a third degree felony offense.
Want a Firearm Eligibility Card? You’re going to need one just to possess a gun now. That’s $50 upfront and $30 to renew. Then there’s administrative fees, Sheriff’s Fee, and other assorted fees.
You also have to complete required mandatory training prior to even applying. So you can’t just go to a gun store, purchase a gun, and then take training — it has to be done before you even are allowed access to the firearm.
This is by far one of the most insidious, draconian set of laws that’s silently weaving it’s way through the Pennsylvanian legislature and we certainly call upon any in that state to oppose it whole-heartedly.
Senate Bill 1029 will make the ownership of firearms cost-prohibitive, extremely invasive, and mired in as much bureaucratic garbage as New Jersey and Maryland. Effectively, it would still remain a “shall permit” for concealed carriers but the number of steps towards becoming a law-abiding concealed carrier in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is about to get a whole lot more fraught with needless restrictions on firearms.
Feel free to reach out to Senator Art Haywood and Senator Vincent Hughes through the following channels:
Senator Art Haywood — Contact Info
Senate Box 203004
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3004
Room: 184 Main Capitol
FAX: (717) 772-0572
1168 Easton Road
Roslyn, PA 19001
FAX: (215) 517-1439
Senator Vincent Hughes — Contact Info
Senate Box 203007
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3007
Room: 545 Main Capitol
FAX: (717) 772-0579
4950 Parkside Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131
FAX: (215) 879-7778