For all the compelling pleas for gun-control legislation after the mass shooting at a New England elementary school - including the one at the emotional core of President Obama's State of the Union address this week - Harrisburg's first welcome response has been to shore up the firearms laws already on the books.
Newly minted state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane has moved to close a legal loophole that enabled gun owners to acquire handgun-carrying permits from other states even if they had been refused by local authorities. The loophole was exploited under Kane's predecessors, including Gov. Corbett.
Philadelphia in particular was plagued by the so-called Florida loophole, nicknamed for the Sunshine State's ready supply of mail-order gun permits. Given that the Police Department has the authority under state law to block permits for gun owners regarded as high-risk, more than 900 city residents had sought out-of-state permits to pack heat.