Angelo Fichera, Philadelphia Daily News
FOR ABOUT 4,000 Pennsylvians who obtained a concealed-carry permit through the so-called “Florida loophole,” time’s up. State Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Friday announced that Florida has agreed to close a controversial policy allowing Pennsylvanians to obtain a gun permit through the mail. Under the revised reciprocity agreement, those holding Florida concealed-carry permits in Pennsylvania must now be legal residents of Florida.
About 900 residents hold such permits in Philadelphia. Law-enforcement officials here often decried the loophole as a portal to obtaining a gun permit for those who were ineligible for or denied one, or whose permits had been revoked.
City officials praised Kane’s announcement at a news conference in North Philly on Friday.
“This is incredible, that within this brief period of time that she was able to take this bold step,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said, referring to the short time since Kane took office last month.
The gun debate has escalated to the forefront of national discourse in recent months, but contention over the Florida reciprocity agreement began years ago.
During the 2010 gubernatorial election, Gov. Corbett, then attorney general, was often critized for a lax stance in regard to the weapons law. That same year, a Hunting Park man with a Florida permit shot and killed a teen who was allegedly breaking into his car. The man had previously been stripped of his Pennsylvania permit.
“If you can’t meet Pennsylvania standards, you’re not going to be able to carry a concealed firearm,” said Shira Goodman, executive director of CeaseFirePA.
Pennsylvania has reciprocity agreements with 18 states. Pennsylvania residents who have a Florida permit but who are not a legal resident of Florida will have 120 days to obtain a Pennsylvania permit. After that grace period, they’ll be in violation of the law.