Pennsylvania Bill Would Require Purchase Permit for Handguns

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Art Haywood.  (Photo: LancasterOnline)

State Sen. Art Haywood. (Photo: LancasterOnline)

(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Mike Doran)

Pennsylvania could become the latest state to require an eligibility license to purchase handguns if legislation introduced this week becomes law.

Senate Bill 1029, presented by Sen. Art Haywood on Monday, would require anyone wishing to purchase a handgun to first purchase an eligibility license. The licensee must reside in the state and be at least 18 years of age, have completed a firearms safety course within the last three years, and pass a fingerprint background check at a law enforcement office.

Law enforcement officers, as well as active and retired members of the armed forces, would be exempt from the requirement. In the current language of the bill, residents who already own handguns would have to comply with the legislation if it becomes law. However, Sen. Haywood’s communications director remarked that the senator would be willing to change the bill so that only new handgun purchasers must comply.

Haywood characterized the current laws as “unconscionably easy for dangerous Pennsylvanians to get their hands on deadly guns.”

“The ease of obtaining handguns, in particular, is having a brutal impact on our neighbors,” he added, “and legislators who do nothing to stop it are complicit in the killings.”

Pennsylvanians must already undergo a background check when purchasing firearms through a system called the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS). Last year PICS almost processed 900,000 background check requests. Of those, 354,603 were handgun purchases or transfers.

The fee for a license would be $50 and $30 to renew every five years.

Monday, of course, was the third anniversary of the horrific Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, and by introducing his legislation on this day Sen. Haywood intended to draw upon the emotions invoked by that tragedy.

Connecticut has since drastically stepped-up their gun control because of the shooting, and current laws also require the buyer to have a purchaser license. But none of these laws would have prevented Adam Lanza from committing the massacre as all of the firearms used were purchased by his mother, whom he also murdered.

The moral of the story is, of course, that gun laws don’t prevent criminals bent on destruction, and adding yet another layer of feel-good background checks that only law-abiding citizens would bother with doesn’t work.

Sen. Haywood still argues his legislation is not intended to punish responsible gun owners.

“As legislators and as community members, it is up to us to respond to gun violence with laws that save lives,” he said.

Other states that have similar eligibility licensing include the liberal paradises of Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and the District of Columbia.

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • gene December 20, 2015, 9:48 pm

    politics is full of useful idiots unfortunately

    we need more statesmen who have principles based on the Constitution that they stick to no matter what

  • Jason December 19, 2015, 12:28 am

    This Bill is actually only going to change two things first in pa you have to be 21 to buy a hand gun. So it’ll lower the legal age. Second it will pad the state coffers everything else is already in place of you want a ccw in pa. Open carry is legal but only in safer areas in the area, Philly, that you’d want to carry it’s illegal.

  • DaveGinOly December 18, 2015, 9:54 pm

    “…legislators who do nothing to stop it are complicit in the killings.”
    Sen. Haywood has it exactly backwards. Government and legislators do not put guns into anyone’s hands – they have no responsibility for those who acquire firearms of their own volition and then misuse them.
    OTOH, when government takes guns away, or makes them more difficult for citizens to voluntarily procure them, it becomes complicit whenever anyone unable to buy a gun (or unable to buy one in a timely manner, due to delays imposed by government) is injured or killed in a situation in which the victims could have used firearms to protect themselves.
    Government is not responsible for our safety. However, it becomes responsible for injuries and deaths when it prevents us from protecting ourselves.

  • carl kressley December 18, 2015, 7:47 pm

    I live in Pa. and am a hand gun owner. If this Knuckle head thinks he’s going to get this past the Republican controlled house and senate, this guy doesn’t have a clue. The one thing you can’t do is look inside some ones head and see what goes on in there. And until you can you will not stop a nut job,with all the checks he wants to put in place, from committing a crime.

  • Steve December 18, 2015, 6:41 pm

    Apparently, those that brought this bill to the front and those that would vote for it will and have obviously forgotten their oaths to uphold the Pennsylvania Constitution and the US Constitution.

    Article 1 Section 21 of the Pennsylvania Constitution clearly states “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned”

    The the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution clearly states “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

    Those who have brought this highly unConstitutional bill forward need to be thrown out of office henceforth immediate and forever barred from holding any office ever again. Not even to be elected as a dog catcher, should such an office still exist. The same goes for those who would vote for it!

  • Joe December 18, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I can not carry anymore straw!!!!

  • Larry December 18, 2015, 2:15 pm

    Want to bet that the sponsor is a Dem? Want to bet that the vast majority of those who sign on to this POS are also Dems? As Pennsylvania is controlled by Dem congress people, want to bet that it gets passed & signed into law?
    We quit electing Dems & we’ll start to save our country.

  • Kalashnikov Dude December 18, 2015, 12:29 pm

    Our 2nd Amendment has no provision for licensing. Our 2nd Amendment has been the law of the land and will remain the law of the land. In spite of this we have a situation in our nation which can only be described as rampant lawlessness. This is not how I wanted it. I’m all for law and order. But hear me when I tell you, if we continue down the road of lawlessness, my version will kill your version and you won’t like what follows. Is that how you want it? So be it.

  • Robert December 18, 2015, 11:07 am

    They will now have a legal list of handgun owners this is an underhand way for registratio . They also get the “tax” revenue to use against gun owners. They already have a background check so what will it take to get a permit?

  • Rdkdave December 18, 2015, 10:24 am

    Maybe they should start enforcing laws already on the books. When a criminal gets arrested on a weapons violation, he or she gets right back out of jail, goes to the local black market trunk and buys another Saturday night special for 50 bucks. 93% of them could be Obama’s sons and daughters involved in gang activities.
    And of course he represents the Philadelphia area, which happens to have one of the highest crime rate in the state. Bills like this have been introduced before in PA and they all failed. Highly doubt that this one will get anywhere either, since the state House is Republican controlled.
    And isn’t it a federal law you must be 21 to purchase a handgun?

  • L Cavendish December 18, 2015, 10:03 am

    And yet the real criminals don’t do ANY of this…and still manage to get guns…inside and outside of PA…
    Wow…who would have guessed that criminals would not follow the laws.
    Hopefully they prosecute any/all caught with illegal weapons…especially if used to commit a crime.

    • JP December 18, 2015, 11:19 am

      Review your comment, “Hopefully they prosecute any/all caught with illegal weapons”.
      Now think about what you said… because every time a new Gun Law is passed some poor law abiding “Good Guy Citizen” usually falls prey to the illegal weapons category… simply because they are breaking one of the 35,000-40,000 existing gun laws of which they are honestly not aware of.

      Simply Stated… Criminals do not follow the laws… That’s why they have been categorized as CRIMINALS !!!
      The fees charged to buy permits or register certain weapons are just another way money is extorted from Law Abiding Citizens… and if we do not comply we automatically default into the Criminal Catagory… DUH !!!

  • DG December 18, 2015, 8:27 am

    Talk about UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Criminals don’t go to the store to buy guns! Therefor it is another useless law that only effects Law Abiding Citizens! When will they give up there stupidity and leave guns alone; go after criminals instead to make a difference! By all the proposed “gun control, gun ban” law that we have or are proposed, they only want to disarm the Law Abiding Citizens, the people that cause no harm or problems, the people that assist law enforcement and stop criminals.

    The government nor the anti gun groups don’t seem to care one bit about stopping the criminals or illegal guns on they have acquired ILLEGALLY and are possessing ILLEGALLY, and use ILLEGALLY. NOT one of the current or proposed laws will stop them! (they are already breaking many, many laws, but nothing is done about it, just pushing for more laws).

  • Joe McHugh December 18, 2015, 7:49 am

    The States of Connecticut and New York passed laws that require their residents to register all AR15 type rifles, (and certain other “dangerous” weapons), recently. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum, the people who owned those assault weapons largely ignored the laws.

    The State legislators in Connecticut are in a panic about what to do now, and the State of New York residents mounted a mass civil disobedience action against Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 S.A.F.E. gun law. Out of an estimate 900,000 AR15 rifle in that state, only 45,000 New Yorkers registered their rifles. Our Dear Leader Cuomo succeeded in making approximately 850,000 state residents defacto felons.

    Cuomo was so embarrassed about the noncompliance of his state residents that it took a court order to disclose the number of fools that did register their firearms. Registration is only the first step in the transparent effort to confiscate “Dangerous” firearms. Dangerous guns are any firearms that could be used to resist tyranny.

    By the way, “crime fighting” is the usual reason that these tin-pot dictators give to grab privately owned guns. In reality, the “trusted” representatives fear the guns in private hands. Cuomo understands that you cannot abuse the rights of an armed populace.

    Hint: if your state political leaders, (RINOs included), demand that you to register your rifles or shotguns, ask them “What guns?” A registered firearm isn’t really your gun, it is on temporary loan from the government.

  • Steve December 18, 2015, 7:04 am

    Not so obviously liberal states like Nebraska also require a handgun purchase permit, although they only nick us for $5 and the requirement is waived for CHL holders.

    I’m guessing the gangster who shot and killed one of his rivals at some apartments a half mile from my home yesterday must not have known of the need for this permit because he went ahead and bought a gat anyway. Must be a cultural thing.

  • Know your facts December 18, 2015, 6:15 am

    Another politician who should take the time to understand the law before writing a new one. His bill requires age 18 or older for permit. Federal law already requires age 21 or older to purchase handgun or handgun ammunition.

  • Brian December 18, 2015, 5:57 am

    And what area of the trunk of a car do you buy this permit?

  • K.Dalton December 18, 2015, 5:02 am

    These fools just can’t get it through there heads thugs don’t buy new guns, they buy stolen stuff and will always have weapons at hand. All they are doing is making it harder for the honest harder to protect themselves

  • Brian December 18, 2015, 3:33 am

    Thank God the Republicans control the Pennsylvania Congress!
    DemonKKKRats will never learn, even if you were to ban every gun there would be a gun maker on every block working for the criminals on the Black Market. There’s not too many guns that couldn’t be copied. When will the DemonKKKRats learn that having more Americans with guns is the answer. Imagine if a teacher or 2 had guns during Sandy Hook?
    God Bless the USA and Springfield Armory!

  • SuperG December 17, 2015, 11:55 am

    And another straw gets added onto the back of the camel named Revolution.

    • Brian December 18, 2015, 3:39 am

      I would add to every bill like this one that anyone who cannot own or purchase a gun cannot vote either.
      God Bless the USA and Springfield Armory!

      • Josh December 19, 2015, 5:30 am

        Oh how I do so agree. It would drastically decrease the number of anti-gun, pro-entitlement politicians in the country!

    • Roe December 18, 2015, 5:31 am

      Here they go again trying to make criminals out of the law abiding citizen who has guns and acts responsibly in the ownership of them through his/her inalienable right under the constitution to keep and bear arms. This makes me sad to hear that from the people who are supposed to be our leaders. I am disappointed that they can not see the flaws in the idea that gun control will stop idiots from doing stupid and terrible things. The real criminals and the police will both have guns no matter what laws are put on the books. A sad time for peaceful law abiding citizens. I am truly sad.

      • Texan December 18, 2015, 8:02 pm

        You are right on target! How many criminals will ensure they obtain an eligibility license before stealing a gun or buying one on the black market?

    • Roe December 18, 2015, 5:44 am

      The oppressive burden of unfair laws and tariffs caused our forefathers to rebel against the government imposing the same things on them. They could no longer take orders from the government that was not allowing them any freedoms. They fought for the freedom we hold so dear with the weapons they used to provide meat for their own family’s support. They bled and died on the very land that our leaders were born free. Please help me to understand.

    • Robin Grimm December 18, 2015, 10:09 am

      I would like to add that who every put this man in office should have looked at his record first.
      Anyone who is targeting the resposible gun owners don.t need to be in a public office. If they cann’t see it is the illegals that have the unlawfull guns. Retry and go after them ….If you know how.

    • Joe December 18, 2015, 6:12 pm

      This Pa camel can’t carry anymore straw..

      • Josh December 19, 2015, 5:31 am

        This one too. I’ve already written my Reps about this. If this crap passes I’m moving back to Florida!

    • Lightengine December 18, 2015, 9:13 pm

      The black homicide rate without guns is three times the non-black homicide rate with guns. The black homicide rate is six times the non-black homicide rate. Seven percent of our population commits more than 50% of all homicides mostly on the fourteen percent of our population that is black. We could save more than 5,000 black lives every year if we could get the black homicide rate down to the non-black homicide rate. All of this information can be obtained from the FBI and Census Bureau websites.

      The main reason for the high homicide rate among blacks is the massive support over the years for multiple multiple illegitimacy that leaves millions of young black males without the love and guidance of fathers. They grow up feral on the street into a violent third world sub-culture. They never get the opportunity to earn self-respect by accomplishing anything positive and therefore cannot tolerate any disrespect that occurs in arguments or gang interaction. Denial of this dangerous racial issue by “liberal progressives” perpetuates the tragic carnage. But because of political correctness “liberal progressives” choose to be stupid and blame guns and law abiding citizens and the NRA for all of these unnecessary homicides. The actual cause of the problem is “liberal progressivism” and the counterproductive socialist belief that treating deprivation will reduce poverty when it cannot.

      Deprivation is not poverty but deprivation can be caused by poverty. Poverty is in fact the inability of the individual to create value for himself and for others. Everyone of us who is physically able has the right and responsibility to economically support himself and create value for himself and for others. Five resources are required to create value… 1. A strong sense of positive persistence. 2. Knowledge of how to create legitimate value. 3. Enterprises to provide the tools with which to create value. 4. Health and hygiene. and 5. Security of rewards and security of person. The lack of security of rewards because of theft by government dooms socialism every time.

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