City Hall will pay $1.425 million to settle a lawsuit over the city’s release of gun permit information in 20112 — information that publicized the names and addresses of thousands of people who had appealed the denial of permits.
The agreement announced on Tuesday would distribute the funds among 3,265 Philadelphians who appealed either having their gun permit revoked or application denied. It still must be formally approved by a Common Pleas judge during an October hearing.
Benjamin Picker, an attorney with McCausland Keen & Buckman who represented plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said such information must remain private under Pennsylvania’s firearm laws and that the postings left some people vulnerable.
“Some people listed ‘I carry large sums of money at night’ as part of their appeal and that wound up online,” he said. “This is obviously a public safety issue.”
There's more than payment involved. CBS Philly reports the settlement will make it easier to get a gun permit:
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;
- provide better training to city workers as to the confidentiality of firearm application information.
If the court approves the settlement, checks will be mailed to all 3,265 people on file. If checks are not cashed or deposited within 90 days of mailing, the uncollected funds will be dispersed equally among three funds: the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund, the Philadelphia NRA Eddie Eagle Program, and the School District of Philadelphia