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Lentz says House failed to protect Pennsylvanians from violent criminals, strengthen state’s gun permit process

Lentz says House failed to protect Pennsylvanians from violent criminals, strengthen state’s gun permit process

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – State Rep. Bryan R. Lentz said the House failed to protect Pennsylvanians from violent individuals who abuse a loophole in state law to legally carry guns with an out-of-state permit after being denied a gun permit in Pennsylvania.
 
Lentz, D-Delaware, filed his legislation (H.B. 2536) prohibiting the practice as an amendment to a proposal known as the Castle Doctrine bill, which offers protections to homeowners who shoot intruders who enter their residence.
 
In a rarely used parliamentary procedure, however, House Republicans moved to consider the bill (H.B. 40) without amendment, which precluded Lentz from offering his amendment. 

“I’m all for giving Pennsylvanians the right to protect their families against violent criminals and for keeping intact all the rights afforded under the Second Amendment, but my bill impacts neither,” Lentz said. “I’m disappointed the House did not see my bill for what it is — another way to protect Pennsylvanians from violent individuals who victimize people with firearms they have no right to carry.”
 
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 a license to carry, or had their license revoked, by Pennsylvania authorities.
 
“Police report after police report documents cases in which a person who had a violent background was denied a Pennsylvania permit, and later committed a crime in Pennsylvania with 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 on another human being, they could not support making sure a person should be carrying a weapon in the first place.” 
 
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. 

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. 

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