PHILADELPHIA, PA (April 23, 2021) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced that Federal District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson has entered judgment in the FPC Second Amendment right-to-carry lawsuit Fetsurka v. Outlaw, a case filed last November, following the parties’ agreement to settle through an offer of judgment. The order and judgment terms can be viewed at FPCLegal.org.
Under the judgment, Philadelphia will make a number of important reforms regarding its processing of License to Carry Firearm (LTCF) applications in order to provide individuals with much improved access to its required services, including:
- Allowing applicants to submit their applications online and through the mail;
- Resuming in-person submittal of applications as soon as possible, and continuing to accept online and mail applications in the event that the City’s Gun Permit Unit (GPU) suspends in-person applications again;
- Establishing a policy that if the City is unable to offer 90% of approved LTCF applicants an in-person pick up appointment within 45 days of the application’s approval, the GPU must expand its operational hours to 8am-8pm, Monday through Friday;
- Establishing the process for considering an application received;
- Using the Pennsylvania State Police’s “E-PICS” background check system to quickly determine an applicant’s eligibility, and only subjecting applicants to additional investigation that could include an interview, submitting additional proofs of residence, and the collection of fingerprints if necessary on a “good faith basis”;
- Establishing a process by which the GPU will inform applicants of the status and disposition of their application;
- Providing for the ability to use an online system to accept applications and fees; and,
- Establishing a more timely and efficient process through which approved applicants can pick up their LTCF.
In addition, the City will pay the plaintiffs’ damages, costs, and attorneys fees in the amount of $30,000, and the Court will maintain jurisdiction over the case to enforce the terms of the judgment for ten years. The full terms of the judgment can be found online here.
“We are pleased with the Court’s approval of the judgment in this case, the terms of which will benefit everyone who applies for their License to Carry in Philadelphia,” said FPC Senior Director of Legal Operations, Adam Kraut. “We appreciate the City’s work in good faith to expeditiously resolve this case and willingness to enter into this judgment. We will continue to represent the People and improve access to fundamental rights in our current and future strategic litigation efforts.”
In February, FPC reached a settlement in a similar lawsuit challenging Allegheny County, PA’s carry licensing practices.
To support the fight for the right to keep and bear arms, individuals can visit JoinFPC.org to become a member of the FPC grassroots army for just $25.
Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space. Some FPC legal actions include:
- A challenge to Tennessee’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Basset v. Slatery)
- A challenge to the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. ATF)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh)
- Challenge to California’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” (Miller v. Calif. Att’y General)
- A challenge to Maryland’s ban on handgun carry (Call v. Jones)
- A challenge to New Jersey’s ban on handgun carry (Bennett v. Davis)
- A challenge to New York City’s ban on handgun carry (Greco v. New York City)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s ban on handgun carry by adults under 21 (Lara v. Evanchick)
- A challenge to California’s handgun “roster”, microstamping, and self-manufacturing ban laws (Renna v. Becerra)
- A challenge to Pennsylvania’s laws completely denying the right to carry to individuals who were previously granted relief from prior non-violent convictions and are not currently prohibited from possessing firearms (Suarez v. Evanchick)
Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend constitutional rights—especially the right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom through litigation and legal action, legislative and regulatory action, education, outreach, grassroots activism, and other programs. FPC Law is the nation’s largest public interest legal team focused on Second Amendment and adjacent fundamental rights including freedom of speech and due process, conducting litigation, research, scholarly publications, and amicus briefing, among other efforts.