Tag Archives: license to carry

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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Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law, Uncategorized

Can I Carry My Handgun While Archery Hunting?

Recently, a fellow hunter and I were meandering along an old logging road intent on setting up a treestand on a ridgeline deep in the northwoods of Pennsylvania. Our hope was to find the ever-elusive dominant whitetail buck, nicknamed “King Kickback” for the one “kicker” antler which protruded from his left G3 tine. The King appeared like a ghost on trailcams across his property. With a massive rack we estimated as scoring well above 140, our hopes were high that our target area would be part of his dominion.

The conversation soon turned to individual firearm rights which we all know are seriously under attack in our United States. Specifically, we were discussing whether a lawful handgun owner with a license to carry a concealed weapon may carry his handgun while archery hunting. My friend had been advised by a local law enforcement official that he would be in violation of the Game and Wildlife Code should he be found in possession of a firearm while archery hunting.

The Game and Wildlife Code regulations pertaining to archery hunting specifically prohibit the use or possession of a firearm while hunting deer during the archery deer season. 58 Pa. Code §141.43(a)(2)(i). However, two exceptions exist to to this prohibition. The first exception to this rule is the use of a muzzleloader during the overlap of the early and late muzzleloading seasons when the hunter has both a valid archery and muzzleloading license. 58 Pa. Code §141.43(a)(2)(i)(B). The other exception to this prohibition is that a hunter may may indeed possess certain firearms pursuant to the authorization of 34 Pa. Code §2525. 58 Pa. Code §141.43(a)(2)(i)(B). This section states that it is lawful for a law enforcement officer or any person who possesses a valid license to carry a firearm issued under 18 Pa. C.S. §6109 (relating to licensing to carry a firearm) to be in possession of a loaded or unloaded firearm while engaged in any activity regulated by the Game and Wildlife Code – including archery hunting.

As firearms attorneys, we dedicate our practice to zeolously defending and prosecuting the rights of our clients, but also, we take pride in educating the public and, at times, law enforcement officials as to the interpretation of firearms laws of the Commonwealth and this Nation. I was happy to call the official in question and refer him to the section of the law cited above. After our discussion, he offered an apology and thanked me for providing the correct information. He also wished us the best of luck in our quest for the King!

By Tom Beveridge

Firearms Industry Consulting Group

Prince Law Offices, PC

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Filed under Firearms Law, Hunting