Pennsylvania ratified the Bill of Rights in 1790; with knowledge of the Second Amendment and Ninth Amendment, it modified its Constitution that same year to say, “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.”
As a right it is impossible for Pennsylvania and Vermont residents to have given away their right of self-defense. The Supreme Court has said that government is not obligated to protect citizens unless they are in custody. Self-defense, therefore, is a personal responsibility, and handguns are the tool of choice for more than 885,000 federal, state and local sworn law enforcement officers who bear arms as a government privilege, not a right.
Not surprisingly, handguns are also the choice for self-defense by nearly 50 million law-abiding citizens and the 100 million or so dependents they protect by exercising their right to keep and bear arms.