Philadelphia again wades into gun control

Philadelphia’s latest attempt at gun control has a tough road ahead, but could pass legal muster.  An ordinance that would close the so-called “Florida loophole” is likely to get the thumbs up from council members within the next few weeks.

The “Florida loophole” allows Pennsylvania residents to obtain concealed weapon permits in Florida and use them legally in Pennsylvania.  The city ordinance would force residents to get their permits from the commonwealth.  Temple Law Professor David Kairys says council has been down this road before.

“They haven’t given up.  They keep trying, and I think it is possible that this one could survive,” said Kairys.

Kairys says the fact that the scope of the law is limited to concealed weapons makes it more likely to stand up to a challenge.  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.”

The bill has been approved in council, but will require a re-vote due to a clerical error.  It’s expected to pass again.

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