Again, Philly City Council votes to close “Florida loophole”

Philadelphia City Council has approved a law to end the so-called “Florida loophole” that allows Pennsylvania residents to use an out-of-state permit to carry a concealed weapon here.

The council voted on the subject February 4th, but this time approved a bill with some technical amendments.

The bill would prevent Philadelphia residents from using a Florida gun permit obtained through the mail to carry a concealed weapon here.  Councilman Darrell Clarke says he expects a court challenge.

“As usual we fully anticipate the National Rifle Association will step forward and challenge this legislation, I look forward to our day in court.  I’m hoping that giving the existing conditions particularly when we have an assassination attempt of an elected official, people will see the wisdom of having good sense gun legislation.”

WHYY called the NRA looking for comment, but has not received a response.

The law would demand that people carrying concealed weapons in Philadelphia hold a license issued by Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia has had mostly bad luck with passing gun laws.  Several have been overturned in court, citing the state’s authority to make those decisions.

Temple Law Professor David Kairys says he thinks it’s possible this proposal could withstand a court challenge.  Kairys says the fact that the scope of the law is limited to concealed weapons makes it more likely to survive.  In addition, council has passed one gun law that has yet to be struck down.  That law requires city residents to report lost or stolen handguns.

But Kairys says beyond court challenges, the law still must contend with state legislators who are supportive of gun rights.

“There still would be the possibility that the state legislature might specifically invalidate any law that’s passed, which they’ve done in the past,” he said.  “When we banned assault weapons, they passed a law overturning it and saying assault weapons are just fine.”

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