Pennsylvania Attorney’s General Gun Control Act and Florida Connection
Kathleen Kane, not even in office for a month, has decided to pick on Florida, and pick on us in a way that strikes at our very essence.
We here in Florida take great pride in the number of concealed weapons permits our state issues. We were the first state to issue them, and today we lead the nation in concealed weapons permits, reaching the mark of 1 million active permits in December.
You see, about 4,000 people who are Pennsylvania residents got their concealed weapons permits from Florida, not from Pennsylvania, where they really live.
They’re not doing anything illegal by getting a Florida permit. They’re just taking advantage of something known in Pennsylvania as “the Florida loophole.”
Elected officials in Pennsylvania apparently aren’t as eager to please the NRA as we are here in Florida.
In Pennsylvania, before you get a concealed carry permit you have to supply two non-family references for law enforcement to interview. And applicants can be denied a permit if it’s determined that the person’s “character and reputation” make him or her “likely to act in a dangerous manner.”
Philadelphia is especially tough. The city requires that applicants show up in person to hand in their paperwork to the police department’s Gun Permits Unit, which then interviews the applicant. (Source, full story)
The ‘Florida Loophole’ has been the battle cry of several Philadelphia representatives for many years now. They claim that a person that is rejected for a Pennsylvania License To Carry Firearms can easily obtain a Florida ‘permit’ by mail, hence allowing ‘criminal elements’ to legally carry a firearm within the state of Pennsylvania via reciprocity between the two states. With very minor exceptions nothing could be further from the truth and the NRA, and Mr. Hohenwarter know it!
Florida’s requirements are quite a bit more stringent than Pennsylvania’s requirements. To obtain a LTCF in Pennsylvania all one needs to do is visit their local sheriff’s department, or police department in larger cities, fill out an application, get photographed and provide two character references. The applicant is then run through the state police PICS system and if they are approved the license is issued.
Florida on the other hand requires an application, photographs, fingerprints and proof of some form of gun safety training. Usually that safety training is in the form of a concealed weapons class performed by a licensed instructor. Once received Florida institutes an extensive background check using the federal NICS system before issuing any permit.
One reason a small minority of gun owners in the Philadelphia area have chosen to apply for Florida carry permits is the undeniable fact that the Philadelphia police refuse to follow Pennsylvania’s licensing regulations. There have been untold accounts of Philadelphia police refusing to issue a license for completely arbitrary reasons that have no basis in fact or state law. Secondly Philadelphia has an outlandishly high record of revoked licenses, again many of which have no basis in state laws that regulate such actions. It has gotten so bad in Philadelphia that they have actually recently passed their own ‘Florida Loophole’ law in direct violation of state law (source).
Minimum CCW Permit Application Requirements in Florida
- You must be at least 21 years of age unless you are a service member, as defined in Section 250.01, Florida Statutes, or you are a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who was discharged under honorable conditions.
- You must meet the CITIZENSHIP and RESIDENCY requirements set forth in the law. See the instructions for Question 5 in Section II below for further details.
- You must be able to provide a CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION from a firearms training class or other acceptable training document that evidences your competency with a firearm. See the instructions for Question 6 in Section II below for further details.
- You must not have a DISQUALIFYING CRIMINAL RECORD or other condition that would make you ineligible for licensure.
- If you have any questions about your eligibility, you can complete the online preliminary eligibility questionnaire on web page at http://mylicensesite.com.
source: FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
DIVISION OF LICENSING
West Palm Beach Weapons Charges Defense Attorney
At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach, we represent people arrested on weapons charges, including:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Improper exhibition of a weapon
- Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
- Possession of a weapon by a convicted felon
- Firing or shooting an object into an occupied building
In Florida, many weapons charges are subject to mandatory minimum prison sentences of at least three years. Even if you are not facing prison time, a conviction on a weapons charge could have a very negative effect on your life. Most employers do not want to hire an employee with a criminal record. Florida landlords conduct background checks of prospective renters, so a conviction could also affect your ability to rent an apartment.
Many weapons cases can be resolved without a criminal record if your lawyer has you immediately perform community service, complete a weapons class, and apologize to the victim (if there was one). It is essential that the state’s charging attorney understand who you really are, while providing evidence that shows you are much more than what the law enforcement agent makes you out to be.
Being proactive in a weapons case can often make the difference between facing felony or misdemeanor charges, or whether any charges are filed at all.
Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at 561.880.4300. Se habla español.