Gun safety advocates scored a win Friday as Attorney General Kathleen Kane, fulfilling a campaign pledge, limited gun permit reciprocity between Pennsylvania and Florida.
It means that Pa. will no longer recognize concealed carry permits issued by the state of Florida, which has relatively more lax standards. Pa. residents who had been denied a permit here were able to obtain them from that state.
“Our state’s gun traffic and permits should never be bypassed,” said Kane. “Closing this loophole shows that it is possible to swiftly implement common sense gun safety measures that protect our streets. This is my administration’s first official step, but it certainly will not be our last.”
State law grants to AG authority over the state’s reciprocity agreements vis-a-vis firearms.
It’s been a big goal for gun control/gun safety groups, who note that Pa. recognizes more Concealed Carry permits from Florida than anywhere else – about 4,000 according to the AG’s office.
Gun owners who currently have a Florida permit have 120 days to obtain a new one from Pa. Florida residents or citizens with dual residency are not affected.
Rep. Tim Briggs (D-Montco) has been pushing the loophole issue since last session.
“I am thrilled that Attorney General Kane is taking a proactive approach to closing loopholes that now allow dangerous criminals to roam the streets with weapons they should not possess,” Briggs said of the Philadelphia press conference.
The issue came up in Kane’s general election win as well as her victory in the Democratic primary.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PAC spent about $250,000 ontelevision ads to tell southeast Pa. voters that Kane would close the loophole. Her Republican opponent, Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed, was endorsed by the NRA from whom he had received an “A” rating.
During the AG primary the group CeaseFirePA scolded Patrick Murphy, Kane’s opponent, over his support for legislation that would enact reciprocity agreements at the national level. The group offered warm words for Kane at the time.