Federal Right-to-Carry Lawsuit Allowed to Proceed Against The City of Philadelphia, Police Commissioner Outlaw, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick

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PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 4, 2021) — Today, Federal District Court Judge Michael Baylson of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied motions to dismiss filed by the City of Philadelphia and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, as well as Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Robert Evanchick, in the FPC right-to-carry Second Amendment lawsuit Fetsurka v. Outlaw.

FPC filed the lawsuit as a result of the State’s statutory ban on carrying firearms without a license and ban on the open carry of firearms in Philadelphia without a license, as well as the City of Philadelphia’s ban on carry, closures of their Gun Permit Unit (GPU), and other policies and practices preventing or otherwise burdening the right to bear arms and license process. By denying the defendants’ motions, the Court has allowed all of the Plaintiffs’ claims to move forward and ordered an evidentiary hearing to decide the claims on the merits. The hearing is currently scheduled to take place on Monday, April 19, 2021.  

On November 18, 2020, the City of Philadelphia and Police Commissioner Outlaw closed their GPU, denying Philadelphia residents the ability to apply for and receive a carry license. Just two days later, FPC and two individuals sued Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, the City of Philadelphia, and Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Col. Robert Evanchick challenging their laws and policies that prevent law-abiding individuals from exercising their right to bear arms in public, as well as the City defendants’ prior constitutional violations and their history of burdensome and unconstitutional policies and practices. As a result of FPC’s litigation, the City defendants reopened their GPU and introduced an e-mail based application system.

“We are pleased with the Court’s appropriate denial of the defendants’ frivolous motions to dismiss and that this case can now proceed to the merits,” noted FPC Director of Legal Strategy Adam Kraut. “We look forward to engaging in discovery and presenting information to the Court to ultimately vindicate the Second Amendment rights of the plaintiffs and all Philadelphians.” 

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If you would like to support FPC’s Fetsurka case and many other pro-Second Amendment lawsuits, legal action, and research, please chip in $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can at https://www.firearmspolicy.org/donate or Join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org.

Firearms Policy Coalition and its FPC Law team are the nation’s next-generation advocates leading the Second Amendment litigation and research space, having recently filed two United States Supreme Court petitions for certiorari (review) (Folajtar v. Attorney General and Holloway v. Attorney General) and several major federal Second Amendment lawsuits, including challenges to the State of Maryland’s ban on “assault weapons” (Bianchi v. Frosh), the State of Pennsylvania’s and Allegheny County’s carry restrictions (Cowey v. Mullen), Philadelphia’s Gun Permit Unit policies and practices (Fetsurka v. Outlaw), Pennsylvania’s ban on carry by adults under 21 years of age (Lara v. Evanchick), California’s Handgun Ban and “Roster” laws (Renna v. Becerra), Maryland’s carry ban (Call v. Jones), New Jersey’s carry ban (Bennett v. Davis), New York City’s carry ban (Greco v. New York City), the federal ban on the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) to adults under 21 years of age (Reese v. BATFE), and others, with many more cases being prepared today. To follow these and other legal cases FPC is actively working on, visit the Legal Action section of FPC’s website or follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.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.

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