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:
- Not to disclose LTCF applicant information either electronically or in-person;
- Annual training of the Philadelphia Police Department and Philadelphia License and Inspection Board of Review on the confidentiality of LTCF applicant information;
- Customer service training for the Philadelphia Gun Permit Unit;
- 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;
- The City will not require references on the LTCF application and will not contact any references listed on the LTCF application;
- The City will not require lawful immigrants or US Citizens with a US Passport to provide naturalization papers;
- The City will not require any applicant to disclose whether he/she owns a firearm during the LTCF application process;
- 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;
- The City will process all LTCF applications within 45 calendar days;
- The City will remit $15.00 to any applicant who is denied within 20 days;
- 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
- 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.