Gun-rights supporters crowded into the Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg Monday to rally for their Second Amendment rights.
Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) organized the annual event and said “the left is out of control” in proposing restrictions.
“As a legislator I’ve sworn to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and the state Constitution," Metcalfe said. "Article 1, Section 21: The right of the people to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be questioned."
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said he believes that most, if not all, people are supporters of the Second Amendment.
“If we can get it out of the realm of some of the most terrible conspiracy theories, we're really just trying to get to a point where families can send their kids off to school and feel comfortable and confident that they'll come home in the evening,” Wolf said.
“There is a big group of people here who don't want to do anything to undermine the Second Amendment that just want to bring some logic to and care to the handling of guns," he added.
The gun-rights rally came several days after a series of hearings by the House Judiciary Committee to explore ways to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that killed 17 people.
The committee, chaired by Representative Ron Marsico (R-Dauphin), wrangled over proposals ranging from requiring background checks on all buyers at gun shows to banning AR-15 style weapons and bump stocks.
“He (Marsico) really, I think, did a good job of trying to get different points of view and getting all the people who wanted to weigh in on the gun violence issue a chance to make their proposals,” Wolf said. “I think that was a really great start.”
One proposal would allow teachers in Pennsylvania to carry guns in schools.
“When you listen to what teachers and educators are saying, so far I haven't heard anyone say we really want to be armed with guns,” Wolf said.
The governor added that he feels that some measures are best approved at the federal level such as universal background checks and banning AR-15 style guns “so you can't go from state to state and sort of cherry pick your regulations.”
One measure that the governor said he wants the House to approve would require abusers under restraining orders to surrender their weapons to police, not friends or family. That bill has already passed the Senate.