Currently Browsing: Philadelphia
Oct 22, 2012
Folks might remember a little bit back in the summer, the City of Philadelphia published the names of people who had appealed their denial of concealed carry permits. I had looked into some of the background of these individuals, and found some of the denials rather questionable. A reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News has taken up the story, and talked to some of the people involved here, including an Licenses and Inspections spokeswoman who had to have given the quote of the day by saying, ”We touch a lot of people’s lives in a lot of intimate ways.”
It does appear that there are going to be lawsuits over this disclosure, and we’re happy for that. Kudos to William Bender of the Daily News for taking up the story. Gun owners don’t really demand the media be pro-gun, and I wouldn’t classify this article as advocacy. It’s a good example of reporting on an potential unlawful abuse of authority by those in power, and that’s something I believe is in the public interest for journalists to pursue regardless of the subject matter at hand.
Oct 3, 2012
Dissent was patriotic, until it no longer fit the party line. That’s the message in one Philadelphia classroom this year.
During a casual dress day, a student who support Mitt decided to wear a shirt that expressed her support – a fully protected right of the student in any public school. However, she was informed by her teacher that her school was “a Democratic school.” She was also threatened with having her shirt destroyed while she wore it. She was ordered to remove the shirt while having it compared to support the KKK. Then, the teacher tried to kick the student out of the public school classroom for daring to have a dissenting opinion from the supposedly officially “Democratic school.”
Philadelphia taxpayers will be happy to hear that they not only have to pay this teacher, but now they have to pay another teacher to come in teach the class because even the school district doesn’t believe the student could possibly feel comfortable in the classroom anymore.
The article doesn’t note a teacher’s name, but I think the parents would be fully within their rights to name the teacher who threatened their daughter. Put it out there for all to see. This isn’t a case of one inappropriate statement, these were threats and attempts at retaliation against a public school student just for having a different political opinion – something that has nothing to do with math class.
Sep 24, 2012
Given that we’re losing World War II vets at a prodigious rate, I’m surprised to see a local story about an SS fugitive here in Philadelphia. If they want to see this guy brought to justice, the system better move faster than it normally does, because this guy isn’t going to be far behind. Of course, I don’t know what all the hoopla is about. If you listen to our opponents in the gun control movement, since the Nazi government was duly elected, all good citizens were required to abide by its edicts. Did they really expect this guy to join an insurrection? It’s a well known fact that insurrection is, like, the worst thing in the world.
Sep 23, 2012
A flight attendant at Philadelphia International left a .38 Airweight in her purse, and was caught at the security checkpoint. The firearm was confiscated, and promptly discharged negligently by a Philadelphia Police Officer when he attempted to unload the gun. You have to work pretty hard to ND a revolver. I’d really like to know how that happened.
But it does go to show, there is no magic gun handling ability cops possess, which is what our opponents want to claim. Cops, just like any other group of people, have some people who are sharp and competent, and some people who are morons. You can try to train them, but often times you just end up with a trained moron, which isn’t that much more useful than one you haven’t trained. This woman will likely lose her License to Carry, and probably won’t get her gun back. I’m fairly sure the officer in question is still carrying firearms on the streets.
Aug 16, 2012
The Uniform Firearms Act is pretty clear on this:
The application for a license to carry a firearm shall be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The form may contain provisions, not exceeding one page, to assure compliance with this section. Issuing authorities shall use only the application form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Except the Philadelphia police illegally require extra forms that are not prescribed by the State Police, notably two reference sheets. In addition, they require fingerprinting, which is not prescribed as part of the process. They require military discharge papers for those who were in the military, which are not part of the prescribed process. They conduct interviews with applicants. They require naturalized citizens to bring their naturalization papers. None of this is in the spirit of “shall be uniform throughout this Commonwealth.”
Either these issues need to be addressed, or Chief of Police’s authority to issue permits should be assigned to the State Police instead.
Aug 16, 2012
We have a list of approximately 29 names that were listed yesterday, which provides us a handy means of actually looking to see whether there is just reason for denial of a permit for some of these individuals. I will not reprint full names or addresses here, nor will I link to dockets, but I will go through every name and find their court records, which are online in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that with common names, confusion is possible, and also that there could be out of state records that we don’t have access to.
Aug 16, 2012
Unfortunately, I think it’s plausible. From the updated post from yesterday:
“The legal department has determined that this is public information. Its publication is legal. An individual who is denied a permit and files an appeal, that person has waived their right to confidentiality. All that said, within the government, there is a concern about the propriety of publishing the information, and so we’re looking at this again. On the one hand, city government wants to be transparent and believes in the concept of open data. Access to information makes for strong citizenry and effective government. But on the other hand, there are public safety concerns with regard to this information.
So the appeals process in Philadelphia is that you first appeal to a board, which will review your case. My understanding is that it is very rare for the board to overturn the determination of the Philadelphia Police. The next step is an appeal in Commonwealth Court, and court records are public information. So the city is suggesting that once the appeal is made, because it goes to a court case which is public record, it no longer becomes private information protected by the Uniform Firearms Act.
This isn’t over, by a long shot. More to come.
Aug 15, 2012
As long as the information is public, look at some of these reasons for appeal:
I am pastor of a church; I carry large sums of money to bank at least 2-3 times a week. As a businessman, I was robbed once. I could very well be a target for the automobile I drive and my appearance.
Pastor of a church, real danger to society there.
I answered all questions on the gun permit application truthfully. The previous referred to in the denial letter occurred more than thirty years ago.
Previously denied for a permit 30 years ago when the city was may-issue? This is now a ground for denial? This is illegal.
I don’t think it was right for them to take my license. I was the victim. They came into my home and I shot a warning shot.
So someone breaks into your home, you fire a warning shot (admittedly not wise) and that’s ground for a permit revocation?
The reason why my gun was left in my car was due to the fact that my brother asked me to watch my nephew for a few minutes and I was on my way out. My nephew likes to grab on me and hang on me and I was afraid he would grab my weapon. I never leave my weapon in my vehicle and would never do it again.
Leaving a gun in a locked vehicle is grounds for revocation of a license?
I was wrongly accused of being a bartender. I was not arrested or charged with any crime.
So we’re denying based on profession?
There’s an old saying we often tell children: if you can’t play with the toy nicely, you can’t have the toy. The end result of this is going to be the character and reputation clause being removed, since the City of Philadelphia is incapable of not abusing it. Most of these folks have arrests, many of them long long ago. Arrests should not be grounds for denying a fundamental constitutional right. The character and reputation clause is therefore unconstitutional, and should be removed from the Uniform Firearms Act.
Whether the City realizes it or not, they have given actual hard evidence that yes, they are abusing the permit process, and with that hard evidence, we are going to redouble our efforts to stop them from doing it. There can be no negotiation on closing the Florida Loophole until this abuse is taken seriously.
Jul 18, 2012
Anti-gun Philly police commissioner may have been guilty of some violations of the Uniform Firearms Act himself. It seems he was never sworn as a law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania until recently. An attorney alleges this constitutes a violation of Pennsylvania law, including gun laws, and demands that someone bring charges. The law… psssht… that’s only for the little people.
Jul 11, 2012
Apparently there was a road rage incident in Philadelphia, where the road raging driver threatened another motorist with a crossbow. Of course, normally I’d point out that you can find a lot of ways to harm others without using a firearm, but I’ve come to the conclusion that our opponents would have little issue restricting anything sharp, pointy, or that you could hurt yourself or others with. I don’t want to give them a new mission.
Hat Tip to the Outdoor Pressroom.