Lousy gun permit loophole now in DA’s sights

District Attorney Seth Williams demanded state attorney general Tom Corbett to close the “Florida Loophole” through which Pennsylvanians with revoked concealed-carry gun permits to re-arm themselves with quick-and-easy permission from the Florida Bureau of Agriculture.

The issue, which has been talked about for some time now, gained election-year attention on Sept. 12, when 18-year-old Irving Santana was shot 13 times and killed by a Hunting Park man who police said got his permit through the loophole via the Internet.

“Tom Corbett should stand up with local law enforcement so only Pennsylvanians can determine who carries a gun in Pennsylvania,” said Williams at a City Hall press conference yesterday, flanked by Corbett’s opponent for governor Dan Onorato. “He can end it today. Ask him why he won’t.”

When asked why his boss won’t, Attorney General’s office spokesman Nils Frederiksen said, “It’s not something he has the authority or ability to do. Only members of the General Assembly can. They’re asking him to overstep the bounds of his office.

“If they want to talk about street violence or people’s reactions to crime, let’s talk,” Frederiksen said, “but don’t call it a ‘Florida Loophole’ issue when the permit didn’t have anything to do with the incident.”

Joe Grace of CeaseFirePA disagreed. “The Attorney General has the ability to act right now to either end or amend it, with 30 days written notice. I’ll quote them the section of the law if they want me to,” he said.

A bill State Rep. Bryan Lentz proposed to close it remains under House consideration. Florida has issued permits to 3,100 Pennsylvanians.

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