The Philadelphia Police Department evaluates the "character and reputation" of anyone seeking a concealed-carry permit (CCP). Some residents who have never been convicted of a crime have been denied a CCP under Philadelphia's process.
"It's not uncommon at all that they go online and get a permit from Florida," Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey said.
Ramsey, who stood with the mayor and Kane at the Cecil B. Moore Recreational Facility at 22d and Sergeant Streets, called Kane's move a "bold step" that puts Pennsylvania "in the right direction" to curb gun violence.
"There's not a day that goes by that someone is not shot in Philadelphia," Ramsey said. "It's got to stop."
Kane, a Democrat elected in November, ran on a platform that advocated modifying the reciprocity agreement. She modified it so that Pennsylvania will honor a Florida CCP only if the permit-holder is a Floridian with proof of residence. The modified agreement will take effect June 8.
"Closing this loophole shows that it is possible to swiftly implement commonsense gun-safety measures that protect our streets," Kane said.
Republican Gov. Corbett, who was attorney general before running for governor, did not endorse Kane's move.
"Historically, our position has been that the governor doesn't consider revising the reciprocity agreement with Florida to be necessary," said Janet Kelley, his spokeswoman. "He believes Florida's rules for obtaining a concealed-carry license are as stringent as Pennsylvania's - and in some cases impose even higher hurdles, requiring fingerprinting, proficiency tests, and background checks, covering both criminal offenses and mental health. Any clarification of the reciprocal relationship should go through the legislative process."
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R., Butler), a leading gun-rights proponent, said Kane "really overstepped the bounds of her authority" by adding exceptions into the reciprocity agreement.
"She's really done nothing to provide better protection or safety," he said, adding that Kane "should focus on lawbreakers and criminals."
Kim Stolfer, a former Marine from the Pittsburgh area who leads Firearms Owners Against Crime, said, "The Florida loophole didn't exist." He said the problem is that Philadelphia denies permits to many law-abiding applicants who should be granted licenses to carry concealed weapons.
Contact Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @sabdurr.
Inquirer staff writer Amy Worden contributed to this article.