Midstaters react to Kane closing "Florida gun loophole" - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Midstaters react to Kane closing "Florida gun loophole"

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Lots of people bring back souvenirs when they travel to Florida. For some people, their souvenir from Florida was a gun permit.

But Pennsylvania's new Attorney General Kathleen Kane put a stop to that. She took aim at the so called "Florida gun loophole."

Over the last 12 years, Pennsylvania residents who were not also Florida residents could get a gun permit in Florida. But because Kane said some Pennsylvanians were misusing the system, she closed the loophole.

Employees and customers at Staudt's Gun Shop in West Hanover Township reacted Saturday to her move.

Shop owner Joseph Stoudt has a Florida gun permit.

"Originally did so because Florida had more reciprocity with other states than what Pennsylvania did," Stoudt said.

But Kane said some people did not have the same intention. People who were either denied, ineligible, or had gun permits revoked in Pennsylvania were getting a permit to carry in Florida. Because of a reciprocity agreement, that meant they could carry in Pennsylvania too.

"Obviously, if the guy isn't qualified to carry in a state, he shouldn't be allowed to," said gun owner Joe Williamson.

But now the 4,000 Pennsylvanians who have Florida permits will lose their right to carry in states that Florida had reciprocity with.

Stoudt is not happy about it and gave a suggestion.

"One thing they could do is make a law or a rule that you can only apply to Florida if you already have a Pennsylvania," Stoudt said. "Then that would eliminate that loophole altogether."

Many say the rule will not trigger change.

"I think it's gonna be very minimal at best because criminals don't follow the law," said Williamson. "They'll carry what they want. They do what they want."

"Adding new laws isn't gonna stop someone who's gonna do it anyway," said pistol instructor Scott Petrasic.

Pennsylvanians who have gun permits from Florida have 120 days from February 8 to get a Pennsylvania gun permit. For those who already have one, they will still be allowed to carry in Florida.

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