Philly Bucks Preemption Again

I’ve been amiss in covering what the Philadelphia City Council is doing, mostly because this comedy routine is getting boring. But here it is:

The bill, introduced by Councilman Darrell Clarke, would eliminate the so-called “Florida loophole,” which allows owners here to obtain nonresident licenses through the mail, even without a Pennsylvania permit.

At this point I don’t even really want NRA wasting money to fight this. They would just be pissing money away. Let them try to enforce it, and then we’ll hit the city with a huge civil rights lawsuit. Any enforcement of this would be under color of law, qualified immunity wouldn’t apply because this is established precedent. A suit under Section 1983 would allow any police brass ordering enforcement of this to be sued in their personal capacity as well. Pretty clearly the city has no regard for its street officers who will follow the orders, because they can also be sued personally for acting under color of law.

Let them pass this crap if it makes them feel better. Even someone as anti-gun as Lynne Abraham knew better than to suggest she would ever enforce this nonsense. Is Seth Williams this smart? We’ll see. But my money would be that this gets signed into law and never enforced. It’s just grandstanding on the part of Councilman Darrell Clarke and the rest of City Council.

19 thoughts on “Philly Bucks Preemption Again”

  1. “Pretty clearly the city has no regard for its street officers who will follow the orders, because they can also be sued personally for acting under color of law.”

    What does their union have to say about that?

  2. There have recently been reports (which I admittedly can’t confirm, so call me out if I’m wrong) that Philly has completely shut down their licensing unit for “computer upgrades”. That shut down has been for a month or more now, which means many that applied prior to the shutdown have passed the 45 day issuance requirement in the law with no LTCF to show for it.

    Point is, Philly has a history of not complying with the issuance laws in the PA UFA, and I think this will get enforced if passed, because it’s something which makes it harder to obtain a license. Their plan for years has been to prevent issuance from being commonplace, and to discourage people from applying; this fits their mold, so they’ll use it.

    I’d love to see someone force them to enforce it, so they can waste more city tax money on defending a law they know shouldn’t have been passed in the first place. What a waste of time and money in a city that has so many more important problems that need to be addressed.

  3. I agree with you, Sebastian. Philly knows this is completely illegal and they don’t care. In talking to 3 Philly cops I know, they are already aware. But now the State Police have stopped doing Fingerprinting for the FL license. So in some ways the State police are also involved in denying Florida licenses now.
    There are some private firms that do fingerprinting,we need to get them out in the Philly area more often. Fight fire with fire.
    But my recommendation is for the NRA to stay away from Philly. Philly has already lost its greatest benefactor in Rendell, and I think serious hard times are coming to them in the next 4 years, as the money trough dries up.

  4. The greatest problem that I see with this farce is that some of these proposals impose new rules on gun shops. A gun shop then has to decide whether or not to follow the new ordinance. If they do, it sets a very bad precedent. If they don’t, then they’re in violation of the law and the city can shut them down until their case makes its way through the legal system. This would be fatal to many businesses.

  5. The goal isn’t to enforce it. They are going to use it to try and get the state legislature to enact it.

  6. Jacob, I’m not so sure. I’m just cynical enough to believe that these clowns – knowing as they do that there’s nothing they can do about crime without abandoning their collectivist, multi-culti policies – don’t want this stuff enacted, either locally or at the state level, because then, when it is enacted and doesn’t work, they won’t be able to point their fingers and blame Harrisburg for the disgraceful conditions in Philadelphia. I’m convinced that this is just a stunt designed to make them look like they’re trying to “do something” about crime. It’s disgusting. We have little children running a major US city. And when someone stands up and tells the truth, they get tarred with the “racist” brush. I think I’ll buy some more ammo today – that always makes me feel better.

  7. Of course it is a stunt. That does not change the fact that when municipalities pass local laws or non-binding resolutions they are sending a message to the statehouse that they either want a statewide law and/or home rule authority given to them.

    This, plus the lost & stolen laws, are aimed at those goals. Do not ignore things like this. A very clear message is being sent to Harrisburg that gun owners either do not care and/or are unable to deal with politically officials who carry proposals like this.

  8. All the people who voted for this will get re-elected. There is a bill in Harrisburg that will attempt to deal with preemption violations, by hurting municipalities more who do it. Right now if NRA sues the city, NRA pays for it. The city pays nothing, so it costs them nothing to do this. The bill in Harrisburg would make the city pay.

    A civil rights lawsuit is going to cost the city money.

  9. The city council is up for re-election this fall. Like all machines there will probably be some incumbents forced into primaries. NRA can target them and it won’t cost a lot of money.

  10. Like all machines there will probably be some incumbents forced into primaries

    Against people who will vote for stuff like this just as readily. Why would NRA waste its money targeting one anti-gun crony just to get him replaced with another anti-gun crony?

  11. Because it changes the political dynamic and the politicians perception of gun owners which right now is that you will not challenge them.

  12. And what does it tell politicians if gun owners are willing to get behind an anti-gun politician…. just to replace another anti-gun politician?

    I’m not suggesting this tactic is completely off the table. There are situations when I could see it being useful. But generally speaking I don’t see a path forward to building a pro-gun movement in Philadelphia. There aren’t the numbers to do it. The best route is to use the rest of the state to bring Philadelphia into line.

  13. The opponent isn’t the issue. The incumbent who screwed you is. The message you send by actively opposing them is not to mess with you. You don’t need to analyze it any more than that.

    You’re not trying to build a pro-gun movement. Do you see an antigun movement calling for this? Have hundreds, thousands of people marched on city hall demanding action be taken on this? No. It’s a handful of loudmouth politicians who use their positions to leverage an antigun agenda. That is what politics is all about, leverage, how and when to use it. There are plenty of NRA members, CCW holders, etc. in the city right now. It doesn’t matter if they are the majority of the population or a tiny minority. They can be leveraged, especially in primaries, to influence the outcome of elections.

  14. I did a quick search, and I think this is the bill:
    BILL NO. 100722

    Key portion:
    “Prohibited Conduct. No person shall carry a firearm upon the public streets or upon any public property at any time unless that person is:
    (a) licensed by a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of
    Pennsylvania, regardless of whether such person possesses a license issued by another state, to carry a firearm or licensed to hunt . . .”

  15. Wonder if it’s worth trying to pull the “city of the first class” language from the PA UFC? (IIRC there is some of that, no?)

  16. What’s a “Florida Loophole”? As a Florida resident, let me just say that FL is one of the only states that I know of that specifically bans residents from obtaining out of state permits unless they are also residents of that state OR have a FL concealed weapon permit. Since I live in FL, and no place else, if I had a Utah CCW permit, and was carrying in FL, they would arrest me and take my gun. Compared to many states, the “Gunshine State” (my favorite nickname) has pretty strict concealed carry rules and standards. These idiots in Philly don’t know what the hell they’re even talking about, and they’re only using hyperbole to make their issue sound dire because they’re a bunch of liars and imbeciles.

  17. They don’t like that when they unjustly deny a License to Carry, a resident can go get a Florida license and legally carry in Pennsylvania.

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