W. Pa. lawmaker wants to scrap state’s concealed-carry law for gun owners | Tuesday Morning Coffee

A Colt handgun (Flickr Creative Commons photo)

Good Tuesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Reminding us that half of life is simply showing up, we give you state Rep. Aaron Bernstine.

On Monday, as hundreds of gun rights advocates descended on the Capitol, the western Pennsylvania Republican saw an opportunity — and he ran with it.

In a statement released by his office, the Lawrence County lawmaker says he’s rolling out ‘Constitutional Carry‘ (ahhh … see what he did there?) legislation that would “no longer require law-abiding citizens to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania.”

The way Bernstine sees it, if someone passes a criminal background check, it’s “patently unjust and unconstitutional to add layers of bureaucratic regulations on those who are least likely to commit a crime. The current process is a duplicative abuse of the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

So, we get it, you’re a gun owner. You don’t want the man hassling any more than he already does about your God-given right to carry a blunderbuss in your coat pocket.

Well, be warned, if Bernstine’s proposal becomes law, and you decide to get all constitutional about things, fewer than 10 states will allow you to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

Bernstine’s bill would get around this potential roadblock by allowing gun-owners to obtain an optional concealed carry permit that would be valid in other states that have reciprocity agreements with Pennsylvania. Which, when you think about it, actually sounds more unnecessary and duplicative than the burden that Bernstine is trying to relieve.

“Pennsylvanians that follow the law each day should not be punished or hindered just because they prefer to carry their weapon concealed,” said Bernstine.

But the rest of us would feel a lot better knowing they had to pass some minimum standard.

Our Stuff.

In this week’s edition of The Numbers RacketSarah Anne Hughes reminds us that the brain-drain is an old problem for Pennsylvania.
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, thinks Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto should be impeached for signing those gun-control bills into law, Elizabeth Hardison reports.
A state House panel has advanced that Down syndrome abortion ban billStephen Caruso reports.
We went to Metcalfe’s annual 2nd Amendment rally and found it … lacking … in concrete solutions to America’s gun violence epidemic.

On our Commentary PageAnwar Curtis profiles the very good work by the Harrisburg advocacy group, Breaking the Chainz. And Dickinson College historian Karl Qualls explains how easy it is for mankind to go from conspiracy theory to hatred to genocide 

The Inquirer profiles Sen. Tony Williams ‘insurgent’ run for mayor.
A family with measles passed through at least five public places, Allegheny County health officials tell The Post-Gazette.
Pennsylvania ranks second in the nation for the number of structurally deficient bridgesPennLive reports. Several of them are in central Pennsylvania.
Easton’s Democratic mayoral candidates debated Monday night. The Morning Call has the story.

Here’s your #Philadephia Instagram of the Day.

A new super PAC is working on behalf of Philly mayor Jim KenneyWHYY-FM reports.
Rep. Brian Sims, D-Philadelphia, is taking heat for berating an anti-abortion protester on video, the AP reports (via WITF-FM).
Stateline.org looks at states’ efforts to reduce drug prices.
Politico profiles the Republicans ‘pulling for Bernie.’
“Democrats will run into trouble if they spend their time chasing the coalition they relied on before Trump,” Roll Call’s Stu Rothenberg opines.

What Goes On.
The House gavels in at 11 a.m., the Senate at its customary 1 p.m.
8 a.m., Main Rotunda: Building Safety Month event
9 a.m., Main Rotunda: Pa. Legislative Black Caucus Sickle Cell Awareness Day
9 a.m., Capitol Plaza, House Side: Groundbreaking for annual Capitol Hunger Garden
9 a.m., Capitol Steps: Birthday Party for the ‘Earned Income Tax Credit’
9:30 a.m, Media Center: Task Force on Lead Exposure
10 a.m,  Main Rotunda: Pa. Rare Disease Awareness Day event
11 a.m, Main Rotunda: Pa. Coalition Against Rape and Pa. Coalition Against Domestic Violence annual Advocacy Day
11:30 a.m., Media Center: PennEnvironment on transitioning to all renewable energy
12 p.m., Main Rotunda: American Lung Association Advocacy Day
2 p.m., Main Rotunda: Teach PA Schools event (shouldn’t that be … in school … ???)

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
7:30 a.m.: 
Breakfast for Sen. Judy Ward
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Joe Emrick
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. Art Haywood
6 p.m.: Reception for Rep. Barry Jozwiak
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a mere $6,500 today.

Gov. Tom Wolf 
has no public schedule today.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a bit of sunny French pop to get your Tuesday morning going. It’s L’imperatrice with ‘Agitations Tropicales.’

Tuesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Boston blanked Columbus 3-0 on Monday, securing their spot in the Eastern Conference final against Carolina.

And now you’re up to date.

John L. Micek
A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press


  1. So… do you think the process of getting a concealed carry permit somehow magically makes people (who wouldn’t be able pass the background check in the first place) not carry? Do you think 60+ county sheriffs should be able to decide who and who doesn’t get a permit on a whim? Do you think people should have to pay money to exercise their rights? Do you think people should have to wait an indeterminate amount of time to exercise their rights? Remind me again what happened after those 10 states passed constitutional carry, a blood bath on the street? wild shootouts? Increased murder rate? You might actually want to look into that before just assuming how things will turn out. You literally have real world examples of the results.

    If you spent a little more time hasing out your ideas and really thinking about them.. instead of coming up with snarky comments, you might have actually had a half decent article. But als, here we are. Do better, John.

  2. Poorly written article by an anti-2nd amendment author. What makes you think so highly of those that would strip us of our rights? Once the Second Amendment is trampled, can our First Amendment rights be far behind? Oh wait, the Democrats are already starting to look at how “bad” free speech is…..

  3. you’ve clearly never purchased a gun otherwise you’d know there is ” minimum standard” , In fact the only standards required are the same ones required to buy the gun in the first place- and that should be plenty. What standard would you suggest implementing exactly that would draw a line between being fit to purchase a gun and being fit to carry one?
    If you knew anything about the firearms you dislike so much you’d know there isn’t a line- you’re either fit or you’re not – there’s no gray area of people who are just responsible enough to own a gun yet not responsible enough to carry it.
    and if you can already purchase the gun legally , what’s to stop you from carrying it concealed anyway?


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