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Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

The Move to Gut Pennsylvania's Concealed Carry Reciprocity Agreements

A few weeks ago Bryan Lentz (D-161) introduced House Bill 2536, a bill designed to gut the way reciprocity of Pennsylvania Licenses To Carry Firearms are handled in the Commonwealth. With a few small changed to wording, Rep. Lentz's bill attempts to implement the misguided anti-gun agenda laid out by Philadelphia's anti-gun crowd and remove the ability for Pennsylvania residents to carry a firearm on an out-of-state permit. The justification by gun control proponents for such a drastic restriction on your rights boils down to a handful of claims that Pennsylvania residents who were arrested (but not yet convicted) who subsequently had their permits revoked, continued to carry on out-of-state permits. In the eyes of anti-rights groups, you are apparently guilty until proven innocent.

The truth behind the matter however is that most Pennsylvania residents who seek out-of-state permits do so not to avoid the law, but to avoid abuses by their issuing authority, namely the Philadelphia Police Department. It is well known among Philadelphia residents and anyone who is paying attention that Philadelphia only begrudgingly complies with state law when issuing LTCFs and does everything in it's power to prevent Philadelphia residents from receiving them. They force you to apply in person and limit the hours they allow this to the middle of work days, they demand additional documentation not outlined in state law and require character witnesses to execute affidavits. If you can actually get this far it is not unlikely that the Philadelphia Police Department will look for any excuse to deny issuing your permit, such as in the case of one Korean War Vet who claims being denied for having admitted to "pointing guns and shooting at people" - in reference to his service record.

These abuses are just examples of what happens in the process of applying for a LTCF through the Philadelphia Police Department, should you actually receive one they will look for any excuse to revoke it. For example, if a criminal breaks into your house and steals a firearm, the Philadelphia Police will twist that into a justification to revoke your LTCF. As ridiculous as it sounds, this happens every day and may explain why Philadelphia County is responsible for 30-40% of all state-wide revocations each year.

The irony of House Bill 2536 is that in attempting to use poor arguments to push extreme legislation, anti-gun forces have simply shone a spotlight on abuses by issuing authorities throughout the Commonwealth. As a result gun owners need to be oppose House Bill 2536 in it's current form (printer's no. 3790) and demand reform to prevent subjective abuses by issuing authorities.