Tag Archives: CWP

PA Attorney General Reviews Reciprocity Agreements and Nixes Virginia

On Monday, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a press conference wherein he “announced his office ha[d] completed an exhaustive review of concealed carry reciprocity agreements with all 49 other states, as required under Pennsylvania law.” Notably, the Attorney General’s website has been updated with a handy chart.

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The announcement specified that Pennsylvania now recognizes the licenses of 29 other states (previously it was 28). Notably, Idaho and Alabama were added to the recognized states. However, Virginia was removed. As of May 16, 2018, Virginia residents will no longer be able to carry in Pennsylvania pursuant to a Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit.

Pouring salt into an already open wound, the Attorney General has also specified that non-resident permits will no longer be recognized in PA. Which means that in order to lawfully carry a concealed firearm in Pennsylvania, according to the Attorney General, you must be a resident of the state which has issued the license and be over twenty-one years of age.

There are two manners in which Pennsylvania recognizes reciprocity. The first is found in 18 Pa.C.S. § 6106(b)(15) and allows the Attorney General to recognize, without a written agreement, another state’s license. This is predicated on the condition that the other state recognizes Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms (“LTCF”) and that the laws governing firearms in that state are sufficiently similar to Pennsylvania’s.

The other manner is by written agreement. 18 Pa.C.S. § 6019(k)(1) 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.

Virginia and Pennsylvania had entered into a written reciprocity agreement on January 3, 2007. The agreement was amended on March 15, 2013 during the tenure of disgraced former Attorney General, now convicted felon, Kathleen Kane. Notably, the statute is silent as to the ability of the Attorney General to rescind a reciprocity agreement. However, that does not appear to have stopped Attorney General Shapiro.

Moreover, Section 6109(k)(2) requires that “[t]he Attorney General shall report to the General Assembly within 180 days of the effective date of this paragraph and annually thereafter concerning the agreements which have been consummated under this subsection.” (emphasis added). Based on the plain language of the statute, it would seem the General Assembly wished to be apprised of the states with which the Attorney General entered into written reciprocity agreements on an annual basis. Further, this would imply that if the General Assembly believed the agreement to be inappropriate, it could act to revoke its status, rather than leaving that to the discretion of the Attorney General.

Below is a list of states that Pennsylvania recognizes the permits of. You can find more information in the PDF provided by the Office of the Attorney General here.

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Delaware Changes Concealed Weapons Agreements (Not for the Better)

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UPDATE (2/17/17 8:42 AM): New Blog with current information related to the change in position from the Attorney General’s Office can be found here.

UPDATE (2/15/17 8:40 PM): After publication of the below article, it appears the language on the Delaware Attorney General’s page was changed to remove the information indicating that Delaware would no longer recognize non-resident permits. I already have a call in to the Attorney General’s Office requesting clarification and will post an update once I receive a response.

 

Delaware’s Attorney General recently updated their website to reflect the changes in their Reciprocity Agreements.

Previously, the website had listed reciprocity agreements with:

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

COLORADO

FLORIDA

IDAHO
(Enhanced Permits Only)

KENTUCKY

MAINE

MICHIGAN

MISSOURI

NEW MEXICO

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

SOUTH DAKOTA
(Enhanced Permits Only)

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

VIRGINIA
(Reciprocity with VA will be revoked as of 3/1/2016)

WEST VIRGINIA

Now, the website reflects the following changes:

ALASKA

ARIZONA

ARKANSAS

COLORADO

FLORIDA

IDAHO
(Enhanced Permits Only)

KENTUCKY

MAINE

MICHIGAN

MISSOURI

NEW MEXICO

NORTH CAROLINA

NORTH DAKOTA
(Class 1 permits only)

OHIO

OKLAHOMA

SOUTH DAKOTA
(Enhanced Permits Only)

TENNESSEE

TEXAS

UTAH

WEST VIRGINIA

Further, Delaware will no longer recognize non-resident permits issued by any state beginning on September 23, 2017.

As a number of Pennsylvanians have acquired either Florida or Utah non-resident permits in order to be able to carry a firearm in Delaware, it is important they be aware of this impending change as to not unlawfully carry a firearm in Delaware after the change becomes effective. While it is possible for the Attorney General of Pennsylvania (or the state in which you reside) to enter into negotiations with Delaware to secure a reciprocity agreement, it is likely that unless the state has a training requirement to obtain a license, Delaware will not enter into an agreement.

Perhaps the solution to the problem lies in the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill that is currently in committee in the House. I’d encourage you to contact your Representatives and ask them to support the bill.

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Monumental Decision from Commonwealth Court on Confidentiality of License to Carry Firearms Applicant Information

On Friday, May 20th, 2016, the Commonwealth Court issued a monumental decision in John Doe, et al., v. Franklin County, et al., 1634 C.D. 2015, a case that I litigated, where it declared that the disclosure of license to carry firearms (“LTCF”) applicant information to anyone other than law enforcement acting within the scope of their official duties or the applicant (or someone approved by the applicant) violates 18 Pa.C.S. 6111(i), which results in “civil damages in the amount of $ 1,000 per occurrence or three times the actual damages incurred as a result of the violation, whichever is greater, as well as reasonable attorney fees.”

In a 45 page decision, which reviewed, inter alia, the history of Section 6111(i), the constitutionality of its enactment, the Pennsylvania State Police’s own regulations relating to it and whether a Sheriff can claim High Public Official Immunity in relation to it, the Commonwealth Court declared

“any person, licensed dealer, State or local governmental agency or department” violates Section 6111(i) of the UFA by revealing an “applicant’s name or identity” to a person not (1) authorized to receive such information by statute; (2) involved in the operation or management of the sheriff’s office; (3) representing a law enforcement or criminal justice agency; or (4) otherwise authorized by an applicant. Any other interpretation of Section 6111(i) of the UFA where a License applicant’s confidentiality is not safeguarded would be inconsistent with the UFA’s purpose and structure.

The Court also found that Defendants’ challenge to the constitutionality of how Section 6111(i) was enacted was untimely whether under the doctrine of laches, as Plaintiffs argued, or whether under the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Sernovitz v. Dershaw. Accordingly, although Plaintiffs additionally argued that Section 6111(i) was constitutionally enacted, the Court stated that due to the failure of Defendants, or any other party, to bring a challenge regarding its enactment in the past 18 years, any challenge was now untimely.

Furthermore, the Court found that the Sheriff was not entitled to High Public Official Immunity pursuant to Section 6111(i) and therefore declined to consider whether High Public Official Immunity is unconstitutional pursuant to Art 1, Section 11 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as Plaintiffs had additionally argued.

Unfortunately, although 18 Pa.C.S. 6109(h) explicitly states that $1.50 of the fee paid is for purposes of the issuing authority sending the renewal notice, the Court declined to find that a civil cause of action exists for a Sheriff’s failure to issue renewal notices. Although the Plaintiffs brought a common law claim for breach of fiduciary duties, the Court found the Defendants were protected from that claim by the Political Tort Claims Subdivision Act.

While I am disappointed with certain determinations of the Court, I was pleased to see that many of my arguments and research were utilized by the Court in its decision and that it reached the proper conclusion regarding the confidentiality of LTCF applicant information.

If your confidential LTCF information was disclosed in some manner, whether via postcard, sign-in sheet or otherwise, contact us today so we can discuss your rights. You can reach us at info@princelaw.com or 888-313-0416.

 

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Places in PA that Individuals are Prohibited from Carrying at or in, even with a License to Carry Firearms

The question frequently arises as to where an individual with a valid License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) may not carry his/her firearm. For purposes of this article, I will focus strictly on State law places and not the federal place that are prohibited.

1. Court Facilities – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 913 and individual may not carry a firearm in a court facility. A court facility is defined as “The courtroom of a court of record; a courtroom of a community court; the courtroom of a magisterial district judge; a courtroom of the Philadelphia Municipal Court; a courtroom of the Pittsburgh Magistrates Court; a courtroom of the Traffic Court of Philadelphia; judge’s chambers; witness rooms; jury deliberation rooms; attorney conference rooms; prisoner holding cells; offices of court clerks, the district attorney, the sheriff and probation and parole officers; and any adjoining corridors.” However, if conspicuous notice of this prohibition is not placed at the entrance of the court facility or the person does not have actual knowledge of the prohibition, that person cannot be charged with violating the law. Lastly, all court facilities must make lockers available for the checking of firearms and other dangerous items.

2. Casinos – Pursuant to Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Code, Part I, Chapter 44, Subsection 465a.13, an individual is prohibited from carrying a deadly weapon (firearm), stun gun, or other device designed to injure or incapacitate a person, within a licensed facility. However, the Code does provide that you can submit a written request to the Board for permission to carry deadly weapons. UPDATE: Attorney General Kathleen Kane issued an opinion that the Gaming Control Board’s regulation of firearms was preempted. Seehttps://blog.princelaw.com/2014/09/14/attorney-general-kanes-opinion-on-commonwealth-agencies-regulating-possession-of-firearms/

3. Elementary and Secondary School (both public and private) – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 912, an individual is prohibited from carrying on schools grounds and in school buildings. However, there is a defense to prosecution under this section of, “It shall be a defense that the weapon is possessed and used in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity or course or is possessed for other lawful purpose.” Unfortunately, “other lawful purpose” is not defined and the courts have not weighed in on whether a valid LTCF is a lawful purpose. UPDATE: The Superior Court, en banc, acknowledged that an individual in entitled to the defense, where the individual lawfully possesses a lawful weapon for a lawful purpose (i.e. not an unlawful purpose). Seehttps://blog.princelaw.com/2017/02/16/the-goslin-decisions-impact-on-possessing-weapons-on-school-property/

4. Detention Facilities, Correctional Institutes, or Mental Hospitals – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 5122 and 61 Pa.C.S. 5902,  an individual cannot bring a weapon into a Detention Facility, Correctional Institute, or Mental Hospital.

5. Private Property – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 3503, where the individual is notified, either orally or in writing, that he/she is not permitted on the property with a firearm.

6. Certain Department of State Buildings – See, 49 Pa. Code 61.3.

7. Loaded Long Gun in a Vehicle – Pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S. 6106.1, it is unlawful to carry a loaded shotgun or rifle in one’s vehicle.

8. Veteran Affairs (VA) Facilities – Pursuant to 38 C.F.R. 1.218, it is unlawful to carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, except for official purposes. This would also seemingly apply to National Cemeteries run by the VA. See, http://www.cem.va.gov, for a listing.

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