For years, newspapers around the nation have been reporting on a loophole in Pennsylvania gun laws. The loophole allowed Pennsylvania residents to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm issued by the state of Florida by mail. Florida would issue the permits to people who had been denied gun permits when they applied in Philadelphia and other counties in Pennsylvania. The permits issued by Florida allowed these people to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania even thought they had been rejected by Pennsylvania law enforcement officials.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane imposed a change in the process that has effectively closed the loophole. The loophole was widely used. In fact, former State Senator Vince Fumo who is currently serving a sentence in federal prison in Kentucky had a Florida permit to carry.
Applying for a permit or license to carry a concealed firearm, or gun permit, in Pennsylvania can be an arduous process. It can take months and consists of answering detailed questionnaires, back-round checks and interviews. When the process is over, it is not uncommon for the person applying to be rejected for a number of reasons. Many people who have never been convicted of a crime have had applications for permits to carry denied, or even revoked after they were already issued. Prior to this new rule, a person who had been rejected by the Pennsylvania authorities, could apply for a Florida license and, if granted, use that license to carry in Pennsylvania.
Many have asked how a person could carry a gun in Pennsylvania using a license issued by another state. The answer is that Florida and Pennsylvania had a reciprocity agreement that permits an individual who was granted a license to carry in one state to enjoy the same right to carry in the other without receiving a license there. The new process instituted by Attorney General Kane still recognizes this agreement, however, it now requires that the person who is applying for the license be a legal resident of Florida. A person who currently has a Florida issued license, but is not a Florida resident has 120 days from the date of this new agreement to obtain a Pennsylvania issued permit.
If you have a question about gun permits, call our offices now to speak with an attorney who can answer those questions for you. Michael Parkinson, Timothy Tarpey and James Lloyd are defense attorneys and former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorneys with who have have handled more than a thousand cases in which people have been charged with gun and firearm offenses. Our lawyers have also handled hearings before the license review board which handles appeals of decisions to revoke permits to carry.
With more than 40 years of experience, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of how to handle these specific types cases. To speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney please contact us at (215) 352-3432.