|Posted:||December 18, 2014 10:51 AM|
|From:||Representative Will Tallman|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Reciprocity for Concealed Carry Permits between States|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation to provide the Attorney General some much needed guidance when reviewing other states’ laws for the purpose of recognizing each state’s license to carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania.
The law in Commonwealth requires the Attorney General to make a determination that “the firearm laws of the state are similar to the firearm laws of this Commonwealth.” (18 Pa.C.S. § 6106 (b)(15)(ii)). This has been in statute since the passage Act 66 of 2005; and generally, the law has worked fairly well for nine years.
Recently, however, the Attorney General as interjected certain political motivations into the process of determining whether the laws of a state are “similar” to Pennsylvania’s. My legislation will give the AG the guidance she needs to focus her analysis on the substance of the law.
Specifically, my legislation would limit the analysis to thirteen criteria (which are already utilized in determining whether someone is eligible to obtain a Pennsylvania carry permit). The AG would need to determine whether the other state’s law prevents any of the following people from obtaining a carry permit:
As you can see, this list is pretty comprehensive. Conspicuously absent from the list, though, is the current Attorney General’s “zip code” analysis. Many states allow out-of-state residents to apply for and, if they pass a comprehensive background check like Pennsylvania’s, receive a carry permit. Recently, the AG determined that two states’ laws (Florida and Utah) were not “similar” enough because they allowed a person from out-of-state to get a carry permit.
She called it “a loophole in the law.”
I am hard pressed to understand how an individual’s zip code makes them more or less of a “menace to society.” On the contrary, I believe that an individual’s mailing address may indicate that they actually are in greater need of a means of self-defense than others. You may be surprised to find out that even Pennsylvania law allows someone from out-of-state to get a license to carry a firearm in the Commonwealth.
This “throw-back” language in the UFA was added to the law long before we enacted the reciprocity language we have today. It required the out-of-stater to have a license from their home state first. Now that we have reciprocity, this law is used much less frequently than it was.
This legislation also makes a similar change to the provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(k) to continue to allow the AG to negotiate reciprocal agreements, but limit her ability to use “zip code” analysis as a means to refuse reciprocity.
Please add your name to the list of cosponsors for this legislation and let’s refocus our Attorney General on criteria that matter, not zip codes that don’t.
If you have any questions regarding this legislation please contact Carol Hoffman at (717) 783-8875 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Introduced as HB78