PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gov. Tom Wolf has issued a veto threat. The governor says he will not sign a controversial gun bill passed by the Pennsylvania legislature that would allow people to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
The concern is that anyone could be walking around with a concealed weapon without having to go through an additional background check, and with Philadelphia and other areas across the state dealing with a surge of violence, they say this could make matters worse.READ MORE: 78,000 Pounds Of Infant Formula Arrives In United States
“We have to bear the fact that it’s going to be less safe, both for our officers and members of the general public,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said.
Concern is growing amongst law enforcement that a bill that repeals Pennsylvania’s conceal and carry law passed in the statehouse.
Stollsteimer previously served as a federal prosecutor and gun policy analyst. He predicts it will lead to more violence.
“What we need to do is make sure we have more protections in place for the community and that’s what the permit law that has existed in the commonwealth for decades tries to do,” Stollsteimer said.
Pennsylvania is already an open carry state, but Senate Bill 565 would allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry a concealed, loaded gun without a permit. Its sponsor is Sen. Cris Dush.READ MORE: Former Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane Due In Court For Alleged Probation Violation
“You make yourself a target if you have to carry open,” Dush said. “You lose the ability to defend yourself and others.”
Dush represents a district in rural northcentral Pennsylvania, but in a city like Philadelphia, where there has been at least 486 homicides so far this year, Mayor Jim Kenney says it will hinder the city’s efforts to try to control gun violence.
“We’ll continue to do our best to have our police officers take these guns off of people and get them out of circulation,” Kenney said. “But every day, there’s another obstacle that they put up to try to make people’s misery even worse.”
In response, CeaseFirePA is hosting a rally Thursday evening in Media.
“The permit system allowed for individuals to be screened and make sure that if you’re going to carry a handgun, firearm at a grocery store, that you have gone through this extra check,” Max Milkman said.
If lawmakers choose to override the governor’s veto, they will need two-thirds of members in both the Senate and House to do so.MORE NEWS: Allentown Lowers Part-Time, Seasonal Employment Age Requirement To 15
Going by the votes from the bill’s final passage, they don’t have enough to override yet.