Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday dunked a popular measure in veto ink that would have brought permitless concealed carry to Pennsylvanians.
Wolf vetoed SB 565, legislation that protects the constitutional right of Pennsylvanians to carry firearms by removing the need to obtain a permit to legally have one concealed while in public.
The governor, a Democrat who never met a pro-2A measure he didn't hate, said the permitless carry reform "will only exacerbate gun violence and jeopardize the safety of all Pennsylvanians." However, he did pay lip service to the Commonwealth's permitting scheme, saying, "I would like to make clear that this veto will in no way affect the rights of the 1.3 million Pennsylvanians who have legally obtained a license to carry or the millions of Pennsylvanians who legally own a firearm."
Had Wolf gone against his past behavior and signed SB 565, it would have made Pennsylvania the 22nd state in the country to adopt permitless carry.
Supporters of the bill say it was a missed opportunity in a time when violence is surging in the Commonwealth's urban centers.
"It is disappointing that Governor Wolf vetoed this bill to reinforce the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Pennsylvanians," said Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte). "Citizens deserve to have the peace of mind to know they can defend themselves against violent crime."
Corman, who backed the bill in the state legislature, said that vetoing it "does nothing to make Pennsylvania safer," going on to point out that, "Philadelphia has had over 500 homicides so far in 2021, including the tragic death of a Temple University student on Sunday. Governor Wolf would be better suited to focus on commonsense ways to reduce violence instead of punishing law-abiding citizens."