The City of Philadelphia has settled a class action suit related to gun rights. The changes they agreed to make show just how far from state law Philadelphia had become.
Back in 2012 the City of Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections created a new interactive map. The purpose of the map was to show the names and addresses of residents who had been denied firearm carry permits and then appealed.
Yup, that seems legit.
The site lasted a total of three days before someone with a brain took it down.
Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit of some 3,000 people whose name and addresses were listed was filed against the city. After more than two years in the slow halls of justice, a settlement was announced wherein the city will pay some $1.5 million between the 3,000 plaintiffs.
So, after legal fees, they will all be able to get a Starbucks roughly.
More importantly, according to plaintiff's attorney Joshua Prince is that the city agreed to comply with State law on gun rights moving forward.
You read that right, it took a lawsuit by 3,000 residents and a threat of possible serious damages in order to get Philadelphia to agree to follow state law.
And just how far out of whack is Philly from the laws of Pennsylvania? From the article:
For example, police will not confiscate a gun or "carry" license unless there’s probable cause that it is evidence of a crime, and will now give receipts to gun owners when a gun confiscated.
"The reason that is so important is that we have been seeing a number of cases where officers will simply confiscate either the license to carry or a firearm, never charge the individual, and never provide any type of property receipt," Prince says.
Under the settlement the city also agrees to:
- process license to carry applications within 45 calendar days rather than 45 "business" days;
- refund $15 of the application fee to those who are denied, as required by state law;
- provide better training to city workers as to the confidentiality of firearm application information.
Of course, the city wants to downplay the changes.
"A lot of those terms are things that we had no problem agreeing to, because they were things that we were already doing, or the law says we should be doing
. That's what the law is: we’re not going to take somebody's gun unless we have probable cause that a crime is being committed. And the police department did not have any problem with making them terms of this," City Attorney Craig Straw said.
Boy, I'm glad the city is finally okay complying with things the law says they should be doing. That's just craziness to expect them to follow all the laws, right?