Kane closes controversial Florida ‘loophole’

Pennsylvania Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane, accompanied by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, speaks during a news conference Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia, as she announces that Pennsylvania officials are closing a gun-law loophole that lets residents get permits online from Florida, sometimes when they can't get them at home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pennsylvania Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane, accompanied by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, speaks during a news conference Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Philadelphia, as she announces that Pennsylvania officials are closing a gun-law loophole that lets residents get permits online from Florida, sometimes when they can't get them at home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Posted: February 08, 2013

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 a new agreement with Florida that closes the controversial rule that allowed Pennsylvanians to send for a 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 who had theirs revoked.

City officials praised Kane's announcement at a news conference in North Philly 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.

While the gun debate has escalated to the forefront of national discourse in recent months, contention over the Florida reciprocity agreement was years in the making.

During the 2010 gubernatorial election, Gov. Corbett, then attorney general, was often critized for a lax stance in regards 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. He 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.

Commonwealth residents who have a Florida permit but 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.


" @AJFichera

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