The Philadelphia Police Department Must Now Process Carry Applications in a Timely Manner

Source: Jose Nino

Legal pressure from Gun Owners of America (GOA) was able to successfully compel the Philadelphia Police Department Gun Permit Unit (GPU) to start accepting license to carry firearms (LTCF) applications.

Due to the legal action supported by Gun Owners of America (GOA), the Philadelphia Police Department Gun Permit Unit (GPU) began accepting applications for a license to carry firearms (LTCF) via electronic mail as of Monday, December 7, 2020.

GOA was the first pro-Second Amendment organization to file a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for the long delays in issuing LTCFs after the Wuhan virus outbreak. GOA filed Gun Owners of America, Inc., et. al. vs. City of Philadelphia and Commissioner Danielle M. Outlaw on October 5, 2020. The lawsuit had the aim of forcing the City to accept and process LTCF applications within the allotted time period that the law requires. Furthermore, GOA’s motion for peremptory judgment gave the City the option to accept applications through alternative means, the same way other counties in Pennsylvania process these applications.

The GPU’s response was almost immediate. They had a second shift of detectives start taking applications five days per week in order to expedite the processing of these applications.

Things changed on November 18, 2020 when the City of Philadelphia shut down the GPU. After GOA attorney Andrew Austin inquired about this move, the City Solicitor informed the Court of Common Pleas why they pursued this closure and announced that they would be reopening the GPU on December 7, 2020. After it was determined that the GPU could not be physically reopened, they moved towards taking applications through email. This move was consistent with the relief GOA sought in the motion for peremptory judgment.

“While it was unfortunate for the officers, the COVID exposure was proof-positive that the City’s system did not work,” declared Andrew Austin, the attorney for GOA and the ten plaintiffs filing a lawsuit against the City. “The City represented to the Court that the unit would reopen on December 7th, and when they couldn’t do so, they had no other choice but to concede and begin accepting applications by alternate means.”

“I’m also pleased that the GPU is beginning to accept LTCF applications again,” commented Dr. Val Finnell, Pennsylvania Director for GOA.  “We are reminding applicants that the GPU has 45 days to issue their LTCF. If not, I’ve asked them to contact us if they experience delays.”

Other pro-Second Amendment organizations filed lawsuits against the City of Philadelphia. On November 20, 2020,  the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) sued the City in Federal Court by using a constitutional strategy.  The combined threat of GOA’s mandamus and FPC’s preliminary injunction ensured that the City was going to have to relent.

This is the way things must be done in order for liberties to be restored.

Although Pennsylvania is a middling state for gun rights, leftist-run urban centers like Philadelphia will always make attempts to harass lawful gun owners.

For that reason, gun owners must remain vigilant and be ready to take legal action against cities that pull anti-gun tricks on them.