Philly Buckles Under Legal Pressure From GOA
“Andrew Austin, who represented GOA in its state suit, told the Free Beacon the city opened up email applications because it was struggling to meet a self-imposed deadline for reopening in-person applications it had given to the court. He said the city’s lawyers could see the writing on the wall.”
Philadelphians will now be able to submit gun-carry permit applications over email after legal pressure forced the city to reverse a COVID-related shutdown that created a log jam for residents.
Second Amendment advocates filed lawsuits in state and federal courts after the city delayed applications far beyond the 45-day window required by state law.
Spokesmen for Gun Owners of America, which filed the state lawsuit, and the Firearms Policy Coalition, which filed the federal challenge, said the city acted out of fear of losing in both cases. Adam Kraut, FPC’s director of legal strategy, said the city likely doesn’t want its case to move up the federal docket and risk setting a precedent that could affect how localities handle gun-carry applications. He said the legal landscape changed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s November decision to grant emergency relief to churches and synagogues that challenged some of New York’s COVID restrictions.
“It’s hard to imagine the Philadelphia defendants not running a new risk analysis after the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo order,” Kraut told the Washington Free Beacon. “Anyone in their position would have to be concerned about how the Court would view their regulatory scheme.”…
Andrew Austin, who represented GOA in its state suit, told the Free Beacon the city opened up email applications because it was struggling to meet a self-imposed deadline for reopening in-person applications it had given to the court. He said the city’s lawyers could see the writing on the wall.
“They were going to lose,” Austin said. “I think what they wanted to do was just avoid [the judge] entering a judgment for GOA.”
On Monday, police announced the office would reopen, ending a two-week shutdown of operations at the Gun Permit Unit. It said all previously scheduled in-person appointments would be canceled and the office would instead operate by email only—an option requested by gun-rights activists—”until further notice.”
Read more at The Free Beacon