New state AG Kathleen Kane closes 'Florida loophole' on gun permits

Kathleen Kane after voting in Waverly, Pa. The incoming attorney general says she plans to shake up the business-as-usual atmosphere of Harrisburg. (Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

New state Attorney General Kathleen Kane just used the power of her new post to close the so-called "Florida loophole" that allowed people in Pennsylvania to apply for a Florida permit to carry a concealed weapon here, even if they had been denied a permit in Pennsylvania or had one revoked.

Now, Pennsylvania residents must also be residents of Florida to use a gun permit from that state here.

The loophole was a point of contention when Gov. Corbett, then the state's Attorney General, was seeking the state's highest office in 2010.  Corbett's campaign derided complaints about the loophole as "a solution in search of a problem."  The Democratic nominee in the race for governor that year, Allegheny County Dan Onorato, criticized Corbett for not using his office to close the loophole.

Kane, in a news release Friday, said Pennsylvania's guns laws "should never be bypassed" in favor of the gun laws from another state.

"Closing this loophole shows that it is possible to swiftly implement common sense gun safety measures that protect our streets," Kane said. "This is my administration's first official step, but it certainly will not be our last."

Mayor Nutter, quoted in Kane's release, praised her for a "significant step toward making Philadelphia, and the entire Commonwealth, safer for all residents."

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams quickly issued a statement calling the loophole a "serious threat" to state residents because it allowed people who were denied concealed weapons permits, ineligible for them or had them revoked to continue to carry guns.