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The House will consider a proposal offered by state Rep. Bryan R. Lentz that would prohibit an individual to carry a gun with an out-of-state permit if he or she was denied a gun permit in Pennsylvania.
Lentz, D-Delaware, will offer his legislation (H.B. 2536) as an amendment to a proposal known as the Castle Doctrine bill, which offers protections to homeowners who shoot intruders who enter their residence. The bill and amendment are scheduled to run Monday.
"Gun owners are rallying around the Castle Doctrine because they want the right to defend their family when an intruder enters their private home," Lentz said. "It gives them a sense of security against criminals. My bill does that too. It makes sure that people who are prone to violence don't abuse a technicality in the law to harm others. Furthermore, if we are going to expand a person's right to use lethal force on another human being, then we better make sure they should be carrying a weapon in the first place."
Lentz explained that current Pennsylvania law allows a person to carry a firearm if he or she possesses a valid license or permit issued by another state. That allows some Pennsylvania residents to legally carry a firearm in the Commonwealth even when they have been denied or revoked a license to carry by Pennsylvania authorities.
"People who have had their license revoked in Pennsylvania can go online and, without ever stepping a foot out of their home, apply for a gun permit in a state like Florida," Lentz said. "Law-abiding citizens don't circumvent the law like that. Dangerous criminals do. A law-abiding gun owner should understand that individuals who exploit the permit system for criminal intentions are a disservice to people who wish to carry for legal and legitimate reasons."
Lentz emphasized his proposal would not affect gun ownership rights or prevent people from having multiple out-of-state permits.
Lentz added that the legislature should pass his measure to help police retain control over the permit process and ensure that Pennsylvania residents who are granted a license to carry have met the standards of our state and not those of another state.
He said that a shooting earlier in September highlights the need for his legislation. Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn said Marquis Hill will be charged with murder for allegedly shooting 18-year-old Irving Santana 13 times. Lentz said Hill's Philadelphia gun permit was revoked in 2005 because he was charged with attempted murder, and subsequent to the revocation, he was even charged with assaulting a police officer. He explained he was still able obtain a Florida gun permit in 2009, even though he has no ties to that state.