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Day two of Castle Doctrine debate: Lentz argues for closing Florida gun loophole in Pa., House still refuses to act on amendment

Day two of Castle Doctrine debate: Lentz argues for closing Florida gun loophole in Pa., House still refuses to act on amendment

HARRISBURG, Oct. 5 – State Rep. Bryan R. Lentz, D-Delaware, today continued to call on the General Assembly to vote on his amendment that would close the controversial “Florida gun loophole.”
 
Lentz said his measure would protect Pennsylvanians from violent individuals who abuse the loophole in state law to legally carry guns with an out-of-state permit after being denied one in Pennsylvania.
 
On Monday, the House refused to consider Lentz’s measure, which he filed as an amendment to the Castle Doctrine legislation (H.B. 40), through a rarely used parliamentary maneuver. The House today sent H.B. 40 to the Senate without amendment.
 
“Today my colleagues chose the gun lobbyists over sheriffs, police chiefs, crime victims and district attorneys,” Lentz said. “They bowed down to the NRA and other special interest groups instead of protecting the people and communities they were elected to represent.

“This chamber just voted to allow people shoot to kill without any obligation to retreat, but yet my colleagues refuse to even have a debate on a serious problem with our gun permit process,” Lentz said. “There is no self-defense crisis in Pennsylvania, but our law enforcement will tell you there is a crisis with who is carrying guns on streets.”
 
Lentz emphasized his proposal would not affect gun ownership rights or prevent people from having multiple out-of-state permits. It would instead 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.
 
Lentz explained 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 Lentz said Hill’s Philadelphia gun permit was revoked in 2005 because he was charged with attempted murder, and subsequent to the revocation, he was even charged with assaulting a police officer.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. 

“Police report after police report documents cases in which a person who had a violent background was denied a Pennsylvania permit, and secured an out-of-state permit,” Lentz continued. “They go online and, without ever stepping a foot out of their home, are granted a gun permit from a state like Florida. Law-abiding citizens don’t circumvent the law like that. I’m troubled that on the same day as many of my colleagues argued to expand a person’s right to use lethal force, they could not support making sure a person should be carrying a weapon in the first place.” 
 
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