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Class action suit settlement a setback for Philly anti-gun efforts

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The City of Philadelphia has agreed to pay $1.425 million and to make policy changes to settle a class action lawsuit regarding “posting and disclosing of what we alleged was confidential license to carry firearms (LTCF) information,” Prince Law Offices, P.C., announced Tuesday.

“[A] proposed settlement has been reached in John Doe, et al. v City of Philadelphia,” a press release, jointly issued by Joshua Prince, Esquire of Prince Law Offices, P.C., Benjamin R. Picker, Esquire of McCausland Keen & Buckman, Jonathan Goldstein, Esquire of McNelly & Goldstein, LLC, Jon Mirowitz, Esquire, and attorneys for the City of Philadelphia, announced. “The settlement is the result of a year and a half of litigation and extensive settlement discussions during two day s of mediation with former United States Magistrate Judge Diane Welsh."

The City settled in spite of maintaining that information it posted on its website “was not confidential and was not exposed to the public in violation of Pennsylvania law,” and after further insisting “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,” the release explains. “In addition, the City will voluntarily implement substantial changes in certain policies and procedure s, which will positively affect firearm owners who have legally obtained a firearm, and those who choose to carry a firearm for self defense and other lawful purposes.

“Such policy changes will include, but are not limited to, ensuring that confidential LTCF applicant information will not be disclosed by the City electronically or in person, not requiring or contacting references for any LTCF applicant , processing LTCF application s within 45 calendar days, refunding $15 of the LTCF application fee to any applicant who is denied, and not confiscating a firearm or LTCF unless an officer has probable cause to believe it is evidence of a crime,” the release elaborates.

An inescapable observation is that for people who don't admit to doing anything wrong, the defendants certainly appear to be taking extraordinary measures to make things right. Despite their denials, the settlement represents a definite setback for Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's anti-gun administration, which curiously, was turning a blind eye to its own infractions while focusing its attentions on citizens trying to be compliant with the laws.