Pennsylvania recently decided it would not honor concealed weapons permits issued to anyone other than a Florida resident. Florida has more than a million active concealed carry permits and more than 121,000 are issued to out of state residents. The NRA says most are to part-time visitors, but some lawmakers say it is one more example of gun laws in the Sunshine state.
Obtaining a concealed carry permit in Florida requires a class and a demonstration you can shoot. The law says anyone who is a U.S. citizen and can pass Florida’s background check can get a concealed weapons permit.
The state has issued one hundred twenty one thousand concealed permits to residents of another state. The NRA says many are part-time snow birds. “People are law abiding no matter where they are. They don’t suddenly become bad people when they cross the state line or city or county line”, says Marion Hammer, Unified Sportsmen of Florida (NRA).
Pennsylvania recently announced it would stop recognizing Florida issued permits for Pennsylvania residents. Their law says sheriffs MAY issue the permit based on character. Florida says this state SHALL issue a permit if you pass a background check. State Representative Dwayne Taylor wonders what happens after that check. “But if they’re arrested out of state how do we know if they’ve committed felonies or not”, says Rep. Taylor, D-Daytona Beach.
It is a question that does not have an easy answer. Still Chris Smith, Senate Democratic Leader, worries guns will end up in the hands of bad guys.
Reporter: “Marion Hammer would say none of these guns are going to people who have criminal backgrounds because we’re doing a check”
Sen. Chris Smith: “They eventually go to people with criminal backgrounds. People with no criminal backgrounds buy the guns in Florida then they wind up, up and down the east coast”
Since its inception, fewer than 7 thousand carry permits have been revoked in Florida because someone became ineligible.