Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature. Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.
These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.
Each week The Sentinel will highlight one of the bills that has not received widespread attention.
About the bill
It has been more than 100 years since the first law prohibiting drunk driving was implemented in the United States.
The laws aim to protect society and save lives by reducing the number of people who operate motor vehicles while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, with an understanding that when the two are mixed it can end in catastrophic outcomes.
Rep. Christopher Rabb, D-Philadelphia, has introduced a bill that would punish people who carry a firearm while intoxicated, similar to DUI drivers.
“Firearms and alcohol are both extremely dangerous when used improperly, and carrying a firearm while intoxicated greatly increases the risk of tragedy,” Rabb wrote in a co-sponsorship letter.
House Bill 1367 would make it a criminal offense for a person with a concealed carry permit to carry a firearm with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.
A first offense under Rabb’s bill would constitute a summary offense and would carry a $100 fine and the suspension of the offender’s concealed care permit for up to three years.
A second or subsequent offense would be a misdemeanor, carrying a $500 fine, at least a three-year permit suspension and the possibility of permanent revocation.
Similar legislation barring carrying a firearm while intoxicated has been enacted in 30 states, including Ohio and Maryland, according to Rabb’s letter.
“Once again, firearms can be, and too often are, deadly weapons, and as such, this is an issue that can affect all of us in every legislative district,” he wrote in his co-sponsorship letter.