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Pennsylvania Attorney General closes Florida gun loophole

February 13, 2013

HARRISBRUG, PA — Pennsylvania residents who carry a concealed weapon using a non-resident concealed-carry permit from the state of Florida will have to apply to receive a permit from the Keystone State if they wish to continue to carry concealed weapons. Existing permits from Florida will become invalid on June 8.

Delivering on a campaign promise from November’s election, State Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, issued a notice on February 8 that requires the change.

Since 2001, the two states have had a reciprocity agreement that required Pennsylvania to recognize all of the concealed-carry permits from Florida, which could be obtained online. About 4,000 Pennsylvania residents have obtained such permits.

The National Rifle Association criticized Kane for issuing the order. It said in a statement, “The top state law enforcement officer should not be making policy—that’s the job of state legislators in Harrisburg—and should be simply enforcing the law enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. If Kane wanted to be a lawmaker, she should have run for an office other than attorney general.”

Pennsylvania’s gun laws have a “morals clause,” which allows cities like Philadelphia to deny gun permits based on the character or reputation of the applicant. Florida’s gun laws were much more lax, and Kane said residents should not be able to circumvent the state’s gun laws.