Our Pennsylvania Law Shield members should know that the City of Philadelphia has agreed to pay $1.425 million and to make policy changes to settle a class-action lawsuit regarding disclosure of confidential license-to-carry firearms information. The city did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
The lawsuit, John Doe, et al. v City of Philadelphia, et al., involved the 2012 release of 3,265 concealed-carry applicants personal information. The case arose after applicants for locally issued License to Carry Firearms (LTCF) were rejected and had their personal information posted online for three days.
The city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections in August 2012 posted an interactive map with the names and addresses of 2,188 residents who had been denied firearm carry permits and then appealed.
The City maintained that the information on the website was not confidential and was not exposed to the public in violation of Pennsylvania law, and the City does not admit liability to the plaintiffs as part of the settlement.
Under the proposed settlement, the City will pay $1.425 million to the class and will be separately responsible for the costs of administering the settlement. In addition, the City will voluntarily implement substantial changes in certain policies and procedures.
Under the settlement the city also agrees to process license to carry applications within 45 calendar days rather than 45 “business” days; refund $15 of the application fee to those who are denied, as required by state law; and provide better training to city workers as to the confidentiality of firearm application information.
The deal is subject to approval by a Common Pleas Court judge, but attorneys from both sides were optimistic that would be granted.