Governor Wolf’s Opioid Disaster Declaration Infringes On Gun Rights
Yesterday, Governor Wolf finally decided to provide action on the Commonwealth’s growing opioid epidemic by declaring it a statewide disaster emergency. In doing so, however, it appears the Governor has infringed on the rights of any Pennsylvanians who could generally carry a firearm in public without a license.
“While I earlier commended Governor Wolf for coming to the table to provide long overdue leadership on the opioid epidemic, further review of his statewide disaster emergency declaration has made it clear that he took the wrong approach,” said Scott Wagner. “There is no reason why addressing this crisis should come at the expense of our Second Amendment rights. The sloppiness of this declaration is another example of the incompetence of this administration, and calls into question whether this was a good faith effort from the Governor to help those suffering from addiction or just another thoughtless political ploy to silence the critics who’ve been saying hasn’t done nearly enough on the issue.”
Governor Wolf yesterday “Declared Heroin and Opioid Epidemic a Statewide Disaster Emergency.”
But as 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 clearly states, “No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive”
The full statute is provided below.
§ 6107. Prohibited conduct during emergency.
As (a) General rule.–No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property during an emergency proclaimed by a State or municipal governmental executive unless that person is:
(1) Actively engaged in a defense of that person’s life or property from peril or threat.
(2) Licensed to carry firearms under section 6109 (relating to licenses) or is exempt from licensing under section 6106(b) (relating to firearms not to be carried without a license).
(b) Seizure, taking and confiscation.–Except as otherwise provided under subsection (a) and notwithstanding the provisions of 35 Pa.C.S. Ch. 73 (relating to Commonwealth services) or any other provision of law to the contrary, no firearm, accessory or ammunition may be seized, taken or confiscated during an emergency unless the seizure, taking or confiscation would be authorized absent the emergency.
(c) Definitions.–As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:
“Accessory.” Any scope, sight, bipod, sling, light, magazine, clip or other related item that is attached to or necessary for the operation of a firearm.
“Firearm.” The term includes any weapon that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive or the frame or receiver of any weapon.