Governor gets flak over disaster declaration’s potential attack on gun rights
By Chris Eger
Both gun rights attorneys and Republican lawmakers have pointed out that state law provides a wide range of firearms restrictions during a declared emergency such as the one signed by Wolf this week. (Photo: PA Governor’s Office)
Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf is getting heat over the prospect that an emergency declaration on the state’s opioid epidemic may target firearms as a side effect.
Wolf signed a sweeping 90-day disaster declaration on Wednesday characterizing the state’s heroin and opioid problem a public health emergency, saying he was using “every tool at my disposal to get those suffering from substance use disorders into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination.”
However, both gun rights lawyers in the Commonwealth and Republican lawmakers soon pointed out that state law provides a wide range of firearms restrictions during a declared emergency including carry bans in certain public areas and the prospect of gun confiscation.
“There is no reason why addressing this crisis should come at the expense of our Second Amendment rights,” said state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-York, who is mounting a campaign to challenge Wolf for his job in November. “The sloppiness of this declaration is another example of the incompetence of this administration, and calls