Philadelphia harasses and jails concealed carry permit holders
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. Two were hospitalized for diabetic issues while in custody, one of whom was handcuffed to a bed. Charges were filed against three of the men, only to be withdrawn by the District Attorney's Office.
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.
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.
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 men interviewed by the Daily News had varying reasons for seeking nonresident permits from Florida or other states, including having been denied a Philadelphia permit because of unpaid parking tickets. Some said that they carry a Florida permit because it is recognized by more states than a Pennsylvania one. . . .