Toomey’s gun legislation a stepping stone to ‘Florida loophole?’

The gun law overhaul authored this week by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) changes some regulations and loosens some. It leaves out a contentious issue: national reciprocity of permits to carry concealed weapons. 

The bill seeks to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and it would require checks for more sales, such as ones at gun shows.

It also seeks to make it easier for legal gun owners to transport firearms over state lines, including those with permits to carry concealed weapons. Shira Goodman, the head of Cease Fire Pennsylvania says the legislation does not appear to force states to recognize conceal carry permits from elsewhere. 

“It’s not about concealed carry reciprocity across the nation, it’s about having an easier mechanism to make background check system work,” said Goodman, “and if that’s correct, we think it’s fine but we don’t want it to be used to circumvent concealed carry rules or a background check process.”

Toomey does say he considers the bill a step towards national concealed carry reciprocity.

“I support it, I hope we get there,” he said at a news conference this week.

In February, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane modified a reciprocity agreement with the State of Florida. Pennsylvania will recognize permits for Florida residents but will not honor them for those who live here.  Pennsylvania residents who now hold Florida permits have until June 8 to get one locally.  

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