Sep. 24, 2019

HARRISBURG – Today, the House Judiciary Committee approved two bills drafted by Rep. Matthew Dowling (R-Fayette/Somerset) to preserve the rights of Pennsylvania’s law-abiding citizens. The first would protect Second Amendment rights during emergencies, and the second would permit possession of a taser without device instructions.

House Bill 1747 would repeal the portion of the state’s Crimes Code that currently prohibits possession of an otherwise lawful firearm on public streets or on any public property during an emergency declared by a state or municipal government.

“There’s no reason that our law-abiding citizens should be stripped of their rights during a state of emergency, especially when we’ve been in a state of emergency for more than a year and a half,” Dowling said. “The rights our forefathers bestowed upon us via the Constitution should never be overridden.”

Gov. Tom Wolf originally declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth’s opioid epidemic in January 2018. The seventh 90-day renewal was signed on Sept. 10.

Also calling for an update of the Crimes Code, House Bill 1805 would allow possession and use of a taser, even if the device’s instruction label has worn off or if the instructions of use do not accompany the taser. The owner would still need to be a law-abiding citizen to legally own the device.

After receiving support from the House committee, both bills move to the full House for consideration.

Representative Matt Dowling
51st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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