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Closure of gun law loophole angers some Philadelphia gun owners

People who wish to own a gun in Philadelphia must obtain a proper permit to do so. Anyone who is found guilty of the illegal possession of a firearm faces either fines or imprisonment. Certain states and counties have stricter requirements for issuing gun permits than others, and this prompts some individuals to seek permits from a jurisdiction other than their residence.

Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane made a statement announcing that she would eliminate a loophole in gun law that made it possible for Philadelphia residents to obtain gun permits from Florida.

A group of gun owners responded to the announcement by asking the attorney general why so many people in the city were getting permits elsewhere.

The Gun Permit Unit of Philadelphia has stringent gun permit requirements, it can deny applications even when applicants do not have criminal records. The Gun Permit Unit can reject an application for permit based on the reputation and character of the applicant.

The Florida gun law loophole enabled residents of Pennsylvania to obtain gun permits from Florida by mail. Due to a reciprocity agreement, the permits were considered valid in Pennsylvania. Many Philadelphians also reportedly obtain Florida gun permits because they are honored by many other states.

The laws surrounding gun ownership in Pennsylvania are complicated and they are frequently evolving. Criminal charges for illegal weapons possession can result in very serious and long-lasting penalties. Those who face such charges are wise to learn about their legal options.

Source: philly.com, "Gun owners losing 'Fla. loophole' can't conceal anger," Stephanie Farr, Feb. 12, 2013

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