Tuesday, October 27, 2010

Contact: Alex Howe, 202.271.7997

Campaign Calls on Pat Meehan to Take a Stand for Public Safety and Against the Florida Gun Loophole

Loophole Has Allowed 3,000 Pennsylvanians to Circumvent Pennsylvania Law and Carry Concealed Guns with Licenses from Florida

Americans United for Safe Streets (AUSS) today announced the launch of a mail campaign that focuses on the threat to public safety posed by lax gun laws and highlights Pat Meehan's weak record on fighting gun crime. The mailers highlight the Florida Gun Loophole, a gap in the law that has allowed 3,000 Pennsylvanians to carry concealed guns in Pennsylvania using Florida permits with laxer standards, and points to congressional candidate Pat Meehan's failure to take a stand against the loophole. Many of the Pennsylvanians who have Florida permits could not qualify under Pennsylvania's standards. One of them, Marqus Hill, had a Florida concealed carry permit for the gun that police say he used to kill a Philadelphia teenager last month.

"Pat Meehan touts his record as a prosecutor," said Alex Howe, spokesman for Americans United for Safe Streets, "but when it comes to gun crime, it's clear that Meehan is protecting criminals who use this deadly Florida Loophole, instead of protecting Pennsylvanians."

The campaign is a series of five mailings arriving at Pennsylvania homes this week that highlight the Florida Loophole and point to Meehan's failure to take a stand for closing it. The mailers ask Pennsylvanians to call Meehan and ask him why he won't support closing the Florida Loophole.

The mailers also highlight the Gun Show Loophole, a glaring gap in our nation's gun laws, and point to Meehan's failure to take a stand for closing it. Although federal law requires gun dealers to conduct background checks on people purchasing weapons, it exempts so-called "occasional sellers," who often conduct business at gun shows. The loophole provides criminals with easy access to firearms without having to worry about any background checks.

A study by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives found that about 30% of all the guns detected in gun trafficking investigations were connected to gun shows and flea markets. Senator Arlen Specter, Congressman Joe Sestak, the Pennsylvania State Police, 185 Pennsylvania mayors and 69% of NRA members support closing the Gun Show Loophole.

The mail campaign is sponsored by AUSS, a non-partisan advocacy organization working to reduce violent crime, and examples of the mailings can be viewed at The Pennsylvania mailings are part of a seven-figure media and mail campaign AUSS is launching in four states to focus on the gun crime and public safety positions of both Democrats and Republicans.

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Americans United for Safe Streets is a non-partisan advocacy organization that is working to educate the public and elected leaders about the need for stronger enforcement and smarter policies to reduce violent crime and keep guns out of the hands of criminals.

Examples of the mailings can be viewed on the Americans United for Safe Streets Web site: