Pennsylvania Removes Ban on Firearms in Casinos

4 years ago
Firearms ban in Pennsylvania casinos
19 Apr

A state regulation that prohibits firearms in Pennsylvania casinos was stricken from the books on Thursday. However casinos are still allowed to ban firearms on their properties if they so choose.

On April 19th 2014 Berks County attorney Joshua Prince, who represented the Firearms Industry Consulting Group has sent a letter to the Gaming Board, challenging the Gaming Board's firearm prohibition. The letter stated: My compelling reason is that I am a law-abiding resident of the Commonwealth, who does not desire to be a victim of crime, which is established to occur throughout the Commonwealth including at casino or "licensed facility" locations, and based upon the General Assembly's determination that I have the lawful right to use force to protect myself, my family and other non-related individuals.

Prince also wrote that numerous Pennsylvania gamblers were attacked and robbed in casino parking lots and that many people want to carry firearms to protect themselves. He also explained that casinos could face some serious problems if they continue with the weapon prohibition and someone gets attacked on their property.

In August 2014 Attorney General Kathleen G. wrote a review that resolved the question whether Gaming Board has the right to prohibit weapons at gaming facilities. According to the review Gaming Board had no right to limit weapons at casinos. Spokesman for the Gaming Control Board Richard McGarvey said that ban has not been enforceable since Pennsylvania passed the law in 2011 that said no agency could regulate firearms.

According to McGarvey those who were accused of violating the ban on firearms at gaming facilities could have defended by mentioning the law.

Even though ban on firearms in Pennsylvania casinos was removed from the books, many privately owned gaming facilities will still prohibit weapons on their property. Spokesman for Parx Casino, Mark Oppenheimer,said that current rules of prohibiting weapons at Parx Casino will remain unchanged even though the Gaming Board can no longer regulate firearms on the casino properties.

Shira Goodman, executive director of organization that works against gun violence agrees with Mark Oppenheimer. She described Parx’s decision to continue with prohibition of firearms as a smart move. In her opinion, people should not carry weapon to casino because every fight can easily escalate due to the high emotions and alcohol.

Many would agree with Shira because there are numerous cases of suicide, murder and other crimes at casinos where firearms were used.


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Ines is a Journalism student with many interests, poker being one of these. Her passion to learn and develop her horizons make her a valuable contributor to the site's content.Read more


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