Attorney General Rescinds Utah Reciprocity
It appears that Attorney General Kathleen Kane has quietly ended Pennsylvania’s reciprocity agreement with the State of Utah. The notice of a change is absent on the Attorney General’s site, and if you look at handgun law.us, it notes at the bottom that as of yesterday, “Pennsylvania NO Longer Honors Utah.”
That AG Kane would do this quietly is unconscionable because it makes it far more likely someone is going to end up in prison because they were unaware of the reciprocity change. This isn’t the first reciprocity agreement she has revoked. On July 29th of last year, the same day that Pennsylvania gained statutory reciprocity with Kansas, she rescinded our reciprocity agreement with Idaho. In early 2013, she modified the agreement with Florida, but did not give notice to the changes that impacted gun owners until a week after the new agreement went into effect.
The Attorney General’s office, under state law, has an duty to sign reciprocity agreements in 6109(k):
(1) The Attorney General shall have the power and duty to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states providing for the mutual recognition of a license to carry a firearm issued by the Commonwealth and a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by the other state. To carry out this duty, the Attorney General is authorized to negotiate reciprocity agreements and grant recognition of a license or permit to carry a firearm issued by another state.
(2) The Attorney General shall report to the General Assembly within 180 days of the effective date of this paragraph and annually thereafter concerning the agreements which have been consummated under this subsection.
I’d argue that concurrent with that duty is not to exit reciprocity agreements that have been negotiated under this subsection. I’d note that Pennsylvanians can still carry in Utah and Idaho, because those states honor any other state permit. But residents of Utah and Idaho may no longer lawfully carry in Pennsylvania. For residents of those states, I’m very sorry, but elections have consequences, and when we elect a Bloomberg-ally for an Attorney General, these are the consequences.