With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming State of Emergency

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Wolf issued a proclamation declaring Pennsylvania’s heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency, seemingly triggering the firearm prohibitions found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6107 during declared emergencies.

Specifically, Section 6107 provides:

(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.

(It must be noted that the definition of a firearm is specific to this section of the code and not the general definition of a firearm found in Section 6102. The definition of a firearm in this section is far more broad than the definition in Section 6102)

While neither Section 6102 nor Section 6107 define what constitutes an “emergency proclaimed by a State…governmental executive,” it is clear that Governor Wolf is the state governmental executive. Moreover, the language utilized in the proclamation seems to trigger the prohibition since it is a proclamation of an emergency, pursuant to 35 Pa.C.S. § 7301.

Specifically, the Proclamation provides:

Disaster Declaration.jpg Disaster Declaration 2.jpg

So what does this mean?

This means that an individual, who could generally carry a firearm in public without a license to carry firearms (LTCF) (with the exception of in the City of Philadelphia as a city of the first class), cannot do so during a state of emergency. However, as the above exceptions reflect, this does not include when the individual is using the firearm for self-defense or if the individual has a license to carry firearms. This is another reason why I always recommend that any individual, regardless of whether he/she desires to conceal carry a firearm, procure an LTCF.

What about confiscation of firearms?

Since Katrina and the confiscation of firearms that occurred during the state of emergency there, individuals are generally concerned about the Government using a state of emergency to confiscate firearms. That is why Section 6107 specifically prevents any form of confiscation of firearms, accessory or ammunition from occurring solely as a result of a state of emergency.

What should you do?

As it is anticipated that this proclamation of a state of emergency will not be terminated for an extended period of time, I would highly recommend that anyone eligible obtain his/her LTCF.

EDIT 1/11/18: For those interested in the impact of this Proclamation on the Great American Outdoors Show and hunting on state game land, please see this follow up article – Are the Great American Outdoors Show (GAOS) and State Game Land Hunting in Jeopardy as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Emergency?

EDIT 1/12/18: As a result of the Office of Governor issuing a statement that Senator Wagner and I are “flat-out wrong,” I have published a third article on this topic and am requesting that Governor Wolf either apologize to Senator Wagner and myself or debate me on the issues – Governor Wolf’s “Interpretive Jiggery-Pokery” on his Proclamation’s Impact on Firearm Rights in Pennsylvania

EDIT 1/16/18: As a result of Philly.com implying that the Governor’s Office has claimed that a violation of Section 6107 is “a citation,” I have published a fourth article on this issue so that the public is not misinformed – Lose Your Second Amendment Rights if You Violate Section 6107 as a Result of Governor Wolf’s Opioid Proclamation

If you or someone you know has had their right to keep and bear arms infringed as a result of this state of emergency, contact Firearms Industry Consulting Group today to discuss YOUR rights and legal options.


Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.

48 thoughts on “With a Stroke of a Pen, PA Governor Wolf Limits Firearm Rights by Proclaiming State of Emergency

  1. Thank you for making everyone aware Josh. Typical lib tactics if they don’t like something they have to make sure YOU can’t enjoy it or protect your rights to have it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not a “new change” it’s an existing law. While I disagree with him declaring a state of emergency for this particular reason… this wasn’t done to directly infringe on the second amendment. I’m no lawyer but I’d think that you could make the argument that the constitution of the United States is the Trump card and you could make the argument it is very clear “shall not be infringed”. Any law unconstitutional is not enforceable. There is nothing in the constitution requiring a permit. Doesn’t stop you from being criminally charged, my guess you’ll ultimately win. But you’re going to ensure a long and costly legal battle. A PLTC permit is $19 bucks and depending on how busy they are typically 20-30 mins of your time at your county court house. Unless you want to roll the dice, and take one for the team on your dime to prove a point getting a carry permit is the easiest way to go.


      1. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, a “state of emergency” was declared. Then, Governor Blanco issued an order to round up all the firearms for the “safety” of the people.

        The US Constitution was suspended for a time… and all in accordance with established law. Same with a state’s permit requirements, it’s all in accordance with established law.


  2. Fuck off Wolf. The PA Constitution is clear and concise. The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be questioned. Stop the flow of narcan and it is a self solving problem.


    1. Democrats have NEVER been tough on crime, and never will be. Doing so would impact their core constituency groups (you know who they are) to a degree they can’t accept.


      1. There is a saying in the Talmud (compendium of Jewish law) that says, “Those who are kind to the cruel, will be cruel to the kind.” I’m fond of point that out to Jewish friends, when discussing the treatment of criminals, particularly in the leftist parts of our country. YMMV, of course…


    2. In some states a move like this is believed to nullify the contract between the State and the Federal. Swoosh…state is no longer obligated to operate as part of the Union because the contract was broken. Whether true or not it would probably be a good idea to do a full background check and investigation into associations of the people who did this…all involved. Check for associations to Soros orgs, other orgs known to launder association for socialists, communists, globalists. Some amazingly curious things going on right now. #Qanon


  3. This means (almost) nothing… you can still carry if you have a license. “Open carry” is perhaps directly affected: open carry is legal in Pennsylvania without a License To Carry Firearms except in “cities of the first class” (Philadelphia) and vehicles where a License To Carry Firearms is required to do so.


  4. The “proclamation” can be amended to include confiscation of firearms, whether legal or not. As Chairman Mao once said, “Political power comes from the barrel of a gun.”

    Also, I would think that filing for a LTCF makes it easier for the “powers that be” to know where to pick everything up that goes “bang.”


  5. Careful over there men, or you’ll end up like my wretched state of NJ. Sucks here and we’re about to have the biggest anti-gun asshole at the helm. He makes no bones. He wants our guns and wants to establish relationships with neighboring states to take your guns too. God Speed my friends.


  6. How about you punish the dealers and stop handing out Narcan like it’s a b12 Shot! I know, give me the power to infiltrate the POS’s who are dealing it and we can all bring them down!!

    But no, let’s punish law abiding citizens instead of actually punishing criminals!


  7. To those who advocate the elimination of Narcan, I must ask why you would want the death of an opioid abuser? In the majority of these deaths, there are dependents that will end up on the public welfare rolls, resulting in an increase in taxes.


    1. for one it free how can you stop a abuser by giving them the means to continue abusing the drugs in this country we have people that need other type of drugs too live and they have to pay large amount of money to live and we give Narcan a way like it candy now tell me that right


  8. The NRA has been asked repeatedly about limitations placed on guns related to medical marijuana, and remained silent. I don’t know about this Firearms Industry Consulting Council”, but I doubt doubt the NRA disagreeS with Wolf on this, although they’d like to see him blamed for something they agree with


  9. Why does everyone else bring Civil Rights Violation law suits against those that violate their rights, But Legal Gun owners who’s 2nd amendment right is violated on a regular basis NEVER bring suit? I think we need to look at this arrogant action and sue Governor Wolf…


  10. If Tom Wolf REALLY wants to stem the opiate issue, then he should be the first Democrat in line to back Trump’s wall. These politicians like Wolf speak with fork tongue.


  11. For those trashing “libs” just remember a state of emergency was declared by Corbett, a republican, numerous times. While it may not have been related to drugs, there was no outrage then. So why now?


  12. This is a backdoor to force gun registration so if they later date choose to confiscate, it’s a piece of cake to do so. This is a violation of the 2nd Amendment via a back door methodology and should not be abided by the people of PA since it sets ‘precedence’. Especially when compared to recent movement to advance Continuity of Government deep-state development prior to the State of the Union Address which brings on disturbing suspicions of what could be intended when all the elected representatives are gathered together for the address. There are strange events afoot ladies & gents. Pay close attention. Spotlighting the cretins is the only methodology that alters their course. The practice used to alter the Constitutional Republic is called incrementalism. They use actions that sound good so you do not question the application and allow it to stay. Then they begin work on the next step. This declaration of emergency and its implications is what it looks like at the local level. At the national level and transnational level on 2010 World Economic Forum documents its called “Global Redesign Initiative”. The names morph over time as they are discovered so watch for the newer versions.


  13. So if the opioids and other drugs are a state wide emergency that has to mean that the drug gangs selling the stuff are running amok so I need my gun for protection against the gangs.


  14. While the author inserts the word “or” in his “So what does this mean” assertion that either 6107(a)1 or 6107(a)2, individually without the other, is sufficient to be public-carry-legal in an SOE, the language of the law contains no “or”, or “either”, or anything that I can see, as a non-lawyer, to indicate that both 1 and 2 should not be met.


  15. Another unconstitutional law that isn’t a law and wouldn’t stick in court. How in the hell does a national drug problem end up having any correlation with not being aloud to openly carry a firearm in the first place. Protect the Bill of Rights, remove this liberal prick from office!


    1. He should never have been elected. It seems that in my great state of Pennsylvania mindless idiots keep voting for mindless idiot democraps and nothing ever changes. Uphold the Constitution, not try and change it. That is their most important job and to protect our freedoms.


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