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City Council Opposes National Concealed Weapons Measure

With a federal bill making its way through the U.S. House, Pittsburgh City Council has passed a resolution opposing the legislation that would require states to honor each others' concealed handgun laws.

The council resolution also asks Pennsylvania's congressional delegation to vote against "The National Right To Carry Reciprocity Act" (HB 822).

Currently, Pennsylvania law requires any person who wishes to carry a weapon away from his or her home or workplace to be licensed by the state. The authorization can be in the form of Pennsylvania's License to Carry Firearms, or a permit issued by one of 25 states that have similar restrictions that are honored by Pennsylvania and vice versa.

Councilman Doug Shields says Pennsylvania's laws are strict for a reason, and they can't afford to compromise with lesser restrictions.

"It's certainly stricter than other states, and certainly stricter than what Florida has," Shields said. "So if the people of Pennsylvania decide that this is the standard for that matter, or other things, then that's what the standard is in Pennsylvania."

Florida is included in Pennsylvania's current reciprocity agreement with other states.

Shields said he thinks Pennsylvania's rights are at risk for no other reason than political posturing by congress.

"What it is, is subsuming, essentially, states' rights, and it's basically red meat on the table for a presidential election year, is what it's about," Shields said.