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The Philly Media: Suddenly Gun-Friendly

By Wyatt Earp | August 31, 2010

For those gun owners not from the area, let me hit you with some knowledge: Philly is one of the most gun-unfriendly cities in America. The media here likens gun owners to war criminals and puppy killers. Yet today, the Inquirer posts a story about gun owners who were arrested by the evil Philadelphia Police, even though they had valid permits to carry.

For the Philly media, a choice between defending cops and defending gun owners is no choice at all:

In the last two years, Philadelphia police have confiscated guns from at least nine men – including four security guards – who were carrying them legally, and only one of the guns has been returned, according to interviews with the men. Eight of the men said that they were detained by police – two for 18 hours each. Charges were filed against three of the men, only to be withdrawn by the District Attorney’s Office.

For the record, that last sentence is a red herring. Current D.A. Seth Williams is dismissing so many charges anymore that it would make your head spin. Charges from robbery to domestic violence to drug possession. Williams’ office is following a strict policy: if the case is not a home run, they’ll decline charges altogether. For Williams, it is all about raising his clearances. Every detective knows it, but you won’t hear the Inky admit that.

The civil-rights unit of the City Solicitor’s Office confirmed that it is handling eight such cases. Two of the men interviewed by the Daily News said that they rejected settlement offers from the city ranging from $3,500 to $7,500. One accepted a $5,000 offer.

For the record, I don’t blame them. In this sue-’em-all society, they want to get paid. And the city has big pockets.

Most of the cases hinge on what local authorities call the “Florida loophole,” under which a Pennsylvania resident can obtain a nonresident permit to carry a concealed weapon through the mail from another state, even without a permit in Pennsylvania. The “loophole” is unpopular with Philadelphia cops, who say that it allows those denied a permit here or whose permits were revoked to circumvent Philadelphia authorities and obtain it elsewhere.

That’s complete and utter bullshit. First of all, it’s not a “loophole.” It’s the law. And in 16 years, I have never heard one person in my department refer to it as a loophole. Some police officers get bent when they stop someone with a Florida permit, but every detective I know is well-versed on this law. When officers call us with one of these cases, we always tell them that they cannot be arrested. Some cops get mad, others don’t. To say the law is unpopular with Philadelphia cops is a blanket statement that is completely untrue.

But proponents say that it’s necessary because Philadelphia has unusually strict criteria for obtaining a concealed-carry permit. Philadelphia, according to police and gun owners, relies heavily on a clause that allows denial of a permit based on “character and reputation” alone.

The proponents are correct. It is very difficult to get a permit in Philadelphia, primarily because Philadelphia is so anti-gun. They talk about it here every day. So of course people will seek out Florida permits to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

And what do they get for it? 18 hours in a jail cell because some idiot cop doesn’t know the law. And they wonder why people are fleeing this town.

Topics: Gun Pr0n, Philly | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “The Philly Media: Suddenly Gun-Friendly”

  1. AJ Lynch Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    What you are saying I think is if the dumb f***s at the Inquirer did a year-to-year statistical comparison, they’d see what games Wiliams is playing. Arrest Statistics would be about the same but the number of cases tried and the number of convictions would be way way down.

    Too bad the Inky’s dumb f***s are unable to figure that out until after Williams leaves office in about 16 years.

  2. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Clearly, this is a desperate effort to sell newspapers.

  3. Old NFO Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    It’s typical big city politics… guns bad= all gun carriers bad… sigh…

  4. Wes S. Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    And what do they get for it? 18 hours in a jail cell because some idiot cop doesn’t know the law. And they wonder why people are fleeing this town.

    Is it a case of “not knowing the law,” Wyatt, or “knowing the law and choosing to make an arrest anyway” on the part of certain officers…or, more likely, certain supervisors and administrators? I’ve seen several polls showing that street cops were much less supportive of gun control than cops at the supervisory level.

    I’ve heard a few rumors of similar activity on the part of local cops here in the Kansas City area (Missouri also has shall-issue CHLs; Kansas recently added them as well) although I hasten to add that all the local cops I’ve had dealings with have behaved professionally…and generally had no problem with civilian CHLs.

    Most of the ones I’ve talked to, in fact, are downright enthusiastic about the notion…not least because now their own adult family members can carry for their own protection.

  5. bob (either orr) Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Yeah, those four morons were on the cover of the Daily Sports News today. I mumbled to myself, “WTF?” It’s a good thing I read the back of that paper first. I would probably have had about a dozen heart attacks by now if I didn’t.

  6. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    August 31st, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Philadelphia has had a nasty habit of pre-empting state laws over the years, especially regardling gun laws.

    Even when cases have been brought to court and justice served, they continue to defy the commonwealth.

  7. Randal Graves Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 8:10 am

    thug life.

  8. Randal Graves Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 8:11 am

    sorry, forgot the link:

  9. CaptainAmerica Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Wyatt- we had the same conversation here in work and it went exactly like you described it. The point about the “loophole” is word for word what I said, it’s THE LAW, not a loophole. Suddenly the Daily News is championing gun rights??? You got to be sh*tting me…

  10. piperfromtn Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    Our former sheriff paid for my wife’s carry class because he felt so strongly about everyone having a carry permit.

    There are a few in LE around here who don’t want folks carrying like the tyrants like you’ve got up there. Too bad some folks are damned ignorant about the right to keep and bear arms.

  11. Lergnom Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    A few of our intrepid newspaper types have carry permits.
    I love when the paper does an “expose” on who has CCW in Our Fair City. They usually exclude themselves.

  12. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 1st, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    AJ – They probably have been fed the facts. They’ll just refuse to report them so Williams looks good.

    Mrs. Crankipants – When I’m down at court, it’s all the other cops read. Pisses me off. They hate your guts and you’re giving them your money!

    Old NFO – As long as they can carry their guns, they’re fine.

    Wes S. – In my division, some officers make the arrests anyway – even after we tell them they can’t.

    Bob – Yeah, the angina kicked in early today.

    Smite – You would think the Constitution would mean something to the mayor of the town in which it was signed.

    Randal – What up, G!

    Captain – Only because it’s a chance to slap the po-po.

    Piper – I think we should have open carry. Let everyone know what kind of weapon you have on your hip. Robberies are bound to decrease.

    Lergnom – Yep, and they champion the city’s initiatives while they live outside the city limits.

  13. Bob G. Says:
    September 2nd, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I used to shoot at the range on State Rd near Keystone St. a lot…

    Then again, my buddy brought ALL his guns from JERSEY over to PA for us to punch paper with…

    (and he wondered how many flaming hoops I had to jump through to get a gun in Philly…silly boy.)

    I now live in Indiana…and got TWO pistols (9mm & .45 ACP) and a shotgun (12 Ga Tactical pump)…not a wimper from ANYONE.

    Took all of 3 minutes from a GUN SHOP no less.
    (with fingerprints)

    Guess being one of the GOOD GUYS still means something out here in the Heartland, eh?

    Excellent post.

    Stay safe.

  14. John Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I believe the issue in Fithaldelphia comes from an elitist mentality. I truly believe most police in the city and state for that matter know it is legal to OC or carry in Filthadelphia; however, they push a personal agenda of “only LEO should be armed and not the civilians”. I also hate being labeled as a civilian. We are all civilians, that term proves the elitist mentality.

    As to non-resident permits. I hold a valid LTCF in Pa and a CCW from Utah. I live in pa but hold a Utah permit for the additional states; not to get around the law. I travel to Delaware often; Delaware does not recognize Pa, but they recognize Utah. I do like the fact if a sheriff does wanna to pursue a personal agenda and revoke my permit for OC’ing I can still carry (OC = Open Carry which is completely legal in Pa and has several precedents supporting its legality; although, some sheriffs and LEOs chose to ignore the courts and do as they please).

    If anyone is interested in laws, safe handling, or just wants to look into carrying I would recommend reading:


  15. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Bob G – New Jersey tries to get around H.R. 218 – allowing officers to carry nationwide – by making Philly cops change their ammunition before entering the state. We use hollow-points. The NJ State Police have stopped a few officers I know and harassed them not because of their firearm, but because of their ammunition. It’s insanity.

    John – There are a few officers in my division like that. The call us (detectives) and ask if they can lock up someone with a FL permit. FL permits are reciprocal in PA, so we always tell them no. Sometimes, they confiscate the guns anyway. These are the officers you expect to be fired.

  16. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    John – great site! been a member since nearly as long as it was founded.

    Speaking of PAFOA, don’t forget about the handy PA gun rights flyer! :)

    It’s always a good thing to have printed up and keep in your glove box. :)

  17. John Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Thank you for adding the: “These are the officers you expect to be fired.” Unfortunately, I never heard of a LEO being fired for what you call “confiscate” (I call it stealing of there is no crime being committed).

    From the sound of your posts I wish more LEO’s understood rights as you do.


  18. John Says:
    September 8th, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I could not edit my last post. I just wanted to add that charges should be pressed against LEO’s who illegally seize guns or any other property without RAS or PC.

    Smith H. – I have been a member since 2006!!

  19. junior santos Says:
    February 11th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    Philadelphia police just lost all of my respect. I will never be able to look at a Philadelphia officer with respect or support again. They act like a group of ruthless thugs instead of public servants. They actually violate rights!! Look, Philly has terrible sports teams, poverty, terrible schools and boat loads of black markets with drug dealers carrying guns with no gun permits of course. Why the HE++ would they be going after innocent citizens with no records. The PA attorney general decides the gun permit reciprocity and not the philadelphia police or city hall or mayor nutt. I mean this city has enough issues, they don’t need to be violating gun rights of Americans.

  20. Wyatt Earp Says:
    February 11th, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Junior – By all means, decry every officer in a 6,000-man force because a few cops are idiots. That’s like saying every Latino person is a drug dealer because some of them peddle weed and heroin here.