Settlement in Philadelphia Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Disclosure of Confidential LTCF Information

I am proud to announce that a settlement has been reached with the City of Philadelphia in the matter of John Doe, et al.,  v. City of Philadelphia, et al, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas docket no. 121203785, stemming from the City’s posting and disclosing of what we alleged was confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) information. You can download a copy of the Press Release – here. This was a collaborative effort between Benjamin R. Picker, Esquire of McCausland Keen & Buckman, Jonathan Goldstein, Esquire of McNelly & Goldstein, LLC, Jon Mirowitz, Esquire, and myself.

As a result of the Settlement, the City will pay $1.425 million to the class and will be separately responsible for the costs of administering the settlement. Further, and of similar importance, the City has agreed to a number of policy changes, which can be found starting on page 11 of the Settlement Agreement, including:

  1. Not to disclose LTCF applicant information either electronically or in-person;
  2. Annual training of the Philadelphia Police Department and Philadelphia License and Inspection Board of Review on the confidentiality of LTCF applicant information;
  3. Customer service training for the Philadelphia Gun Permit Unit;
  4. Posting a copy of the LTCF Application Notice on its website and where LTCF applications and appeals can be submitted or obtained, as well as, providing a copy to anyone who has his/her LTCF denied or revoked;
  5. The City will not require references on the LTCF application and will not contact any references listed on the LTCF application;
  6. The City will not require lawful immigrants or US Citizens with a US Passport to provide naturalization papers;
  7. The City will not require any applicant to disclose whether he/she owns a firearm during the LTCF application process;
  8. The City will not deny an application because the applicant answered “no” to any question regarding whether the applicant had been charged/convicted of any crime where the applicant received a pardon or expungement from the charge or conviction;
  9. The City will process all LTCF applications within 45 calendar days;
  10. The City will remit $15.00 to any applicant who is denied within 20 days;
  11. The City will not require LTCF applicants or holders to disclose to law enforcement that they have an LTCF, that they are carrying a firearm or that they have a firearm in the vehicle; and
  12. The City will not confiscate an LTCF or firearm, unless there is probable cause that the LTCF or firearm is evidence of a crime. In the event an LTCF or firearm is confiscated, the officer must immediately provide a property receipt, which shall include the pertinent information

A copy of the signed and filed Settlement Agreement can be downloaded – here. Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline Allen has signed an Order preliminarily approving the terms of settlement, which you can download – here. A copy of the Second Amended Complaint can be downloaded – here.



Filed under Firearms Law, Pennsylvania Firearms Law

24 responses to “Settlement in Philadelphia Class Action Lawsuit Regarding Disclosure of Confidential LTCF Information

  1. Pingback: Philadelphia LTCF Disclosure Class Action Settlement

  2. Joe Keffer

    Congratulations!! Great work , Josh.


    • Ruslan

      “Philly is no longer allowed to ask for references.”
      And that’s what I thought and I wend there today 900 Spring Garden st 2nd floor to submit my app. They didn’t except it with blank references(they still do have 2 references boxes on the application). So I guess I still need them. So I need 2 references. Willing to become a reference for someone in exchange


      • Michael Bane

        Did you mention the court case and the settlement agreement? Did you refer them back to their own website? If so, what was their response?


  3. Pingback: Philadelphia Legal Smackdown | Shall Not Be Questioned

  4. Ryan Jairam

    Good work! You are awesome! The reference requirement being nixed is interesting, because supposedly it violated privacy laws? So I wonder if other counties in PA will similarly drop their reference requirements? Also, I wonder if something similar can be challenged in other states, eg. NJ. Might have to ask Nappen about that.


  5. Pingback: Philadelphia LTCF Disclosure Class Action Settlement - Page 3

  6. Pingback: Settlement in Philadelphia a Win for GunOwners | Bold Departure

  7. Dave laden

    Question: will they still revoke your permit if your car is stolen and there was a gun inside (as they announce on their handout)?


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  11. Pingback: renewing ltcf in Philly

  12. Joseph Waters

    Yes I received my $25.00 settlement from LTCF, but they were not a were of my Civil Rights being violated and being Wrongfully arrested.
    This pass April 28,2015 the same incident happened again.
    This time I was assaulted again by the same subject that had me arrested back in April 09, 2009.
    He was arrested this time but I had to us my fist.
    I need a Lawyer, someone paying for this.


  13. Michael Bane

    There’s a loophole in this settlement. It says that they can’t turn you down for a license if you answer “no” about charges and/or convictions that were expunged. But there may still be records from the investigation related to what you were charged with. So they can go back through their records and find out you were arrested anyway. They’ll use the general exception for a person “not of good moral character” or “danger to society” or however it says it in the law. So you will be denied anyway.


    • It isn’t a loophole but rather a compromise that was reached during negotiations. While it was not anywhere close to what was originally requested, it was better than their current practice.


    • Wil Smith

      Sad, I just received a certified letter of denial for a renewal of LTCF in Philly. I have valid FL and Utah non-resident permits (even though no longer accepted in PA), and have no criminal record. I had my record expunged over a decade ago (false charges from someone who was trying to bring a civil suit for money), and was denied because I answered no. Now I have retained ample counsel to handle this matter. I am an upstanding citizen, business owner, graduate student, and community activist. I was upset that the police commissioners name and signature appear on a letter that states I am “not of good moral character” and a “danger to society”. What gives the PD the right to say such a thing about someone who has had zero police contact in the last decade, and can pass PICS at any gun shop with flying colors? I would like the entire process to go through Harrisburg with one standard policy. After all, Philly isn’t allowed to give a drivers license, so why should they be able to govern the LTCF process. I wish I was a Chester County resident.


  14. Ruslan

    I live in Philly. Need 2 references, they are still not excepting apps without it (phone# address and name). Will become a reference for someone in exchange. Let’s help out each other. Email me at

    Thank you,



  15. Elli

    It is now June 2016 and there are still “two references” on the application – am I going to waste my time (and day off from work) to be rejected if I leave blank? I can easily get two (one being a cop) – but I refuse if I don’t have to. This city and go pound sand. Thanks!


    • The main application form was designed by the state police. It is used by all the counties and cannot be changed. There was a separate form created by the Philadelphia Police that had to be filled out by the reference.


  16. jared

    I just phoned the number at the top of the LCTF application and the police woman told me that 2 references are still required. She stated it was a “state requirement.”


    • Did you mention the lawsuit and that they aren’t supposed to ask for references anymore? If you did, what did she say?


      • DML

        FWIW, I have had a Philadelphia LTC since 1993 and in all those years no one ever contacted any of my references nor those of anyone I knew nor was I ever contacted as a reference for others.
        Go figure…


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