As many of you are aware, I previously blogged on Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s 2013-2014 Annual Firearms Reciprocity Report, which the Attorney General is required, by law, to complete annually and submit to the General Assembly. Based on information I recently obtained, it is now questionable whether AG Kane purposely left out information from her report and failed in her statutory duty to enter into a reciprocity agreement with Idaho.
Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(k)(2), the Attorney General is statutorily required to provide the General Assembly with an annual report regarding the reciprocal status with other states. Further, pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. § 6109(k)(1),
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. (Emphasis Added)
On July 1, 2014, Stephanie Altig, Deputy Attorney General of Idaho, sent a letter to Attorney General Kane requesting the establishment of a reciprocity agreement. Attorney General Kane, without any explanation, declared that “upon review of Idaho’s relevant statutory provisions, we have determined that at this time, Pennsylvania is unable to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Idaho.” You can download a complete copy of the response here.
Attorney General Kane’s refusal to explain why a reciprocal agreement is not possible is extremely disconcerting given that Idaho’s Enhanced Concealed Carry Licensing requirements far exceed the Commonwealth’s requirements for a license to carry firearms. As a result, Deputy Attorney General Altig sent a follow up letter of August 19, 2014 to Pennsylvania Chief Deputy Attorney General Robert Mulle, inquiring as to why a reciprocal agreement was not possible, based on the enhanced requirements. To this day, neither Attorney General Kane nor Chief Deputy Mulle has responded to the letter.
In reviewing the 2013-2014 Firearm Reciprocity Report, Attorney General Kane fails to inform the General Assembly of Idaho’s inquiry. In fact, Idaho is not listed or specified anywhere in the report. Was this an attempt to hide this information or otherwise mislead the General Assembly?
As it appears that Attorney General Kane shirked her duty to enter into a reciprocity agreement with Idaho, as required by Section 6109(k)(1), she may have committed the highest level misdemeanor crime that we have in the Commonwealth, as a violation of Section 6109(k)(1) is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, pursuant to Section 6119, which can be punished up to 5 years in jail.
It will be interesting to see how the Attorney General responds to inquiries regarding her failure to disclose the communications with Idaho to the General Assembly, as well as, the breach of her duty to enter into a reciprocal agreement with Idaho.