Hundreds of gun owners and gun right advocates were joined by a large bipartisan group of lawmakers in the state Capitol rotunda just one week ago to voice their support for the second amendment rights of Pennsylvania citizens. This was the twelfth annual second amendment rights rally to be held in Harrisburg. A number of nationally noted speakers shared their perspectives on legislative and judicial efforts to protect and preserve the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) addressed those attending the rally and voiced support for moving municipal preemption legislation that will prevent local governments from regulating the ownership, possession or transportation of firearms and ammunition, on to become law in Pennsylvania. Â
“The founders knew what they were doing when they made sure they were protecting our rights to bear arms,” Turzai told those in attendance last Monday. “This team in the Capitol, Republicans and Democrats who recognize the right to bear arms, we have held off all of those attacks of those who want to take away those rights. Secondly, the team who make sure we protect second amendment rights on a local level is also here. We find that municipalities keep trying to take away those rights which is why we sent the pre-emption bill to the Senate. We’re going to get it back on the Governor’s desk.”
Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) also spoke to reporters at the rally and told them he was pleased with the turnout.
“We had a lot of law-abiding citizens that traveled to the Capitol to stand up for their right to keep and bear arms, to protect themselves, their families, their properties, their neighbors, (and) to protect our state and nation,” Metcalfe said. “This is an important event every year to bring citizen activists into the Capitol to lobby through the halls, to talk to their legislators, to make sure they are holding their legislator accountable to defending the Constitution.”
Representative Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny & Washington) was a prime sponsor of a bill that would amend the current conceal gun-carry law.
“You know we are an open-carry state. We don’t need the government’s permission to carry around openly. I carry everywhere. I carry in the banks. I carry in the grocery store. I carry everywhere I go. But we need the government’s permission to put my coat over my weapon. That doesn’t make any sense. I think it’s a fair bill. When you are walking through these hallowed halls today, make sure you tug every legislator’s sleeve and tell them we want Constitutional Carry. It’s sweeping the nation! Every other state is passing it. Why can’t we pass it here?”
Saccone introduced the bill in January, but it has yet to come to the floor for a vote.
If adopted, Pennsylvania would join Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, and Vermont that have adopted constitutional-carry rules.
There was no confirmation that either local representatives Jeff Pyle (R-Armstrong/Indiana/Butler) or Representative Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forrest) participated in the rally.