Today, February 8, 2013, Attorney General Kathleen Kane followed through on her pledge to eviscerate Pennsylvania’s reciprocity agreement with Florida, regarding licenses to carry firearms (LTCFs). In a Notice from Attorney General Kathleen Kane, she announces that she has, unsupported by the law, “entered into a modification of the current firearm reciprocity agreement with the state of Florida.” In explaining the “modification”, she declares, “If you are currently a resident of Pennsylvania only and have a CCP from the state of Florida, your Florida permit will no longer be recognized in Pennsylvania 120 days from the date of this Notice, or on June 8, 2013.”
18 PA.C.S. 6109(k) provides, “The Attorney General shall have the power and duty to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states providing for the mutual recognition of a license to carry a firearm issued by the Commonwealth and a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by the other state. To carry out this duty, the Attorney General is authorized to negotiate reciprocity agreements and grant recognition of a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by another state.”
On September 21, 2001, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Florida entered into our prior (and still current) reciprocity agreement. Since the Attorney General has removed it from her website, even though by her own Notice that reciprocity agreement is still in effect for 120 days, you can find a copy here. That reciprocity agreement provided for absolute reciprocity between the states and never required a Pennsylvania resident to have a PA LTCF in order to utilize a FL LTCF.
Per AG Kane’s modified reciprocity agreement, on February 1, 2013, (although someone should have informed AG Kane that she didn’t sign the document until February 4, 2013; therefore, it could not have been entered into on February 1, 2013), she entered into a “modification” to “amend and supersede the original agreement.” This modification now eviscerates the authority of a FL LTCF, if the individual is a PA resident and does not have a PA LTCF. Nothing in 6109(k) gives the Attorney General the power to “amend,” “supersede,” or “modify” an existing reciprocity agreement. Only the Legislature has the power to the amend, supersede or revoke a reciprocity agreement. The Legislature ONLY bestowed the power upon the AG to “enter into reciprocity agreements.” Furthermore, neither PA’s nor FL’s laws, regarding LTCFs, has changed since 2001, which would warrant a change to the reciprocity agreement. Then Attorney General Corbett already reviewed the laws of both states in 2001, found them to be substantially similar and not in conflict, and executed the reciprocity agreement.
As the language clearly provides, the Attorney General ONLY has the power to “enter into reciprocity agreements.” Nothing confers the power on the Attorney General to “amend,” “supersede,” or “modify” existing reciprocity agreements. Accordingly, in my opinion, the newly executed “modified” reciprocity agreement is null and void, as AG Kane lacked the power ad authority to execute a modification.
Accordingly, if you are a PA resident, who only has a FL LTCF, and wishes to challenge AG Kane’s action, please feel free to contact me, as I look forward to having her action declared invalid in a court of law .