Guns

And That's the Problem, Lt. Healy

|

The Philadelphia Daily News interviews nine men the city's police department has arrested for carrying guns, even though all nine were carrying legally.

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 Charges were filed against three of the men, only to be withdrawn by the District Attorney's Office.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.

Agree or disagree with the law, it is the law, which the police are sworn to uphold. Some police officers in Philadelphia apparently feel they can simply ignore it. The department brass doesn't seem particularly concerned.

Despite following the law, all of the men said that they were treated like criminals by city cops who either ignored their rights or didn't know the laws.

Lt. Fran Healy, special adviser to the police commissioner, acknowledged that some city cops apparently are unfamiliar with some concealed-carry permits. But he said that it's better for cops to "err on the side of caution."

"Officers' safety comes first, and not infringing on people's rights comes second," Healy said.

It doesn't get much more succinct than that.

NEXT: California Roundup: Who Won? Who Pays? Who's Stoned? And More

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. ‘”Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.’

    What an asshole.

    1. How is that not an immediate suspension statement?

      1. Because they’re the cops.

        I think they’ve gotten so insular and inside their own world and viewpoint at this point that we’re going to be seeing more and more utterly egregious statements like this. But that will be good if it draws outrage.

        1. I would argue that that has always been the case. I would also say that most people understand it. They just don’t care about it since they believe themselves to be good people who will never have to face the results of that mentality.

          1. “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

            Then quit your fucking job, chicken shit.

            This is the caliber of leader that we have now? Seriously? Because if so, we are thoroughly and completely fucked.

            1. Exactly. They swore an oath to the law, and if they place their convenience above their oath, they have no business swearing one. A complete disgrace to the uniform.

              Title 18, Chapter 13, Sections 241 and 242 of the US Code are fascinating reading with regards to this sort of crap. I’d dearly love to see some citizen arrest a cop for violating it, and deliver him in his own handcuffs to the local FBI field office. Police qualified immunity doesn’t protect against a federal law specifically targeted on those who have such immunity…

      2. Not defending the statist scumbag jackboot gendarmes, but I will say this: If I felt threatened by you in any way, MY safety is going to trump your rights, at least until we get it sorted out.

        1. That’s fine and even understandable, but you should lose your job afterward.

        2. That IS one of your rights. But the quotation puts police powers in opposition to citizen rights. A much different issue.

          A police officer has a right to defend himself (same as anyone else). He can not, however, use the power of the state arbitrarily towards that end.

      3. Now, that said… Once you have declared that you are armed, surrendered (for the moment) your weapon, and have produced your permit, any further action by the thugs is bullshit.

        1. Sorry. Should have been quicker to clarify my position.

        2. Why surrender the weapon, even for a moment? Just produce the permit.

          1. because if you don’t, they’ll kill you

            1. Or you might kill them. Cops don’t acquire magical shooting skills when they put on the uniform, and a great many cops only put in the required minimum practice.

    2. What’s safer for an officer about arresting someone than leaving them alone? Seems the safest thing for an officer to do would always be nothing. If they could stay in bed, that would be the safest for them of anything, wouldn’t it? So what’s this “officers’ safety” about that I missed?

    3. If this is how cops truly feel, we should dissolve all police forces immediately, because they are a far greater threat to the public than non-uniformed criminals.

    4. Healy apparently doesn’t understand that the reason the taxpayers employ cops is to protect the people’s rights, not to ensure cops’ safety. Cops are paid to assume risks.

      -jcr

  2. Private cops–libertoids sure favor privatizing the police force–don’t have a great record. How will private cops be policed (so to speak) in Libertopia?

    1. There’s only one way to find out, and it’s a whole lot better than the alternative: cops who don’t know the law and couldn’t give a fuck about citizens rights….i.e.: the status quo.

    2. We don’t give a fuck if you support us or not, Max, you vomit eating scumbag, because we are going to do what we want to do whether you like it or not, pussy.

    3. They get fired, doofus, unlike the public variety. Why is that so fucking difficult to understand?

      1. Sorry, I was too busy eating Mom’s cookie to respond to your stupid fucking right-winger questions.

    4. Contract renegotiation, you know, that thing your city does with the police union every few years.

  3. not infringing on people’s rights comes second

    And, since rights are granted by the State, the policemen are empowered to determine whether a civilian has any rights at all.

    Fall down a mine shaft, Fran.

  4. Des anyone know whether Lt. Fran Healy fucks sheep?

    Any word on the Joel Pile question?

    1. you could ask him

      CONTACT
      Lt. Francis Healy
      Special Advisor to the Police Commissioner
      215.686.3022
      francis.healy@phila.gov

  5. Des anyone know whether Lt. Fran Healy fucks sheep?

    It’s only speculation, mind you, but- I have a theory.

    1. I did hear he wears heavy wool sweaters year round….

  6. Major Healey, would you care to explain to me what all these sheep are doing in your living room?

  7. Seems that the obvious solution is for Penn to stop recognizing out of state “non-resident” permits.

    Many states decline to recognize non-resident permits, or at least those held by their own residents. If that makes sense.

    Here’s an example:

    Effective immediately, Texas has received notification from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office that the Texas concealed handgun license is recognized in the state of Nebraska. This recognition extends ONLY to Non Residents of Nebraska and to individuals 21 years of age and older. This follows an amendment, effective August 30, 2009, to Nebraska law allowing for recognition of out of state licenses.

    1. The obvious solution is for the fucking pigs to know the fucking law.

      I have found during my gun-permit-getting travails in a number of states that cops are incredibly uninformed–or even more often, misinformed–about their own state/locality’s gun laws. It’s actually pretty scary. What other laws don’t they know?

      1. Or they’re lying assholes.

        1. No, the specific things I’m remembering weren’t something they would lie about (or at least I am pretty sure they weren’t lying, and I’m pretty good at telling); they just did not fucking know. Things like whether open carry was legal or not, stuff like that.

          1. Next time, inform them that dueling is legal in the state.

      2. Now, now, the police can’t be troubled with unimportant things like knowing the law. They are concerned about their own safety, meeting their traffic citation quota, and whether or not they’ll shoot your dog in the head, or the body.

    2. “Effective immediately, Texas has received notification from the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office that the Texas MARRIAGE license is recognized in the state of Nebraska. This recognition extends ONLY to Non Residents of Nebraska and to individuals 21 years of age and older. This follows an amendment, effective August 30, 2009, to Nebraska law allowing for recognition of out of state licenses.”

    3. Why should Texas give a fuck? If they want to issue permits to Nebraskans that arent valid in Nebraska, that is Texas’ problem. Actually, it the Nebraskans’ problem, they should be the ones “receiving notification”.

      1. Because Texas citizens would then know that their permit is recognized in Nebraska?

  8. another example:

    Effective May 17, 2007 Colorado will only recognize permits issued to residents of the issuing state. Colorado no longer recognizes permits issued to non-residents. Additionally, Colorado will only recognize permits issued to residents of the issuing state who are 21 years of age.

    1. CO also only honors recipricating states, so if NV doesnt honor CO permits then CO doesnt honor NV permits (actual case) but CO DOES honor FL permits cause FL honors CO permits.

  9. I was about to post some witty remark about how his definition there would allow cops to shoot people if there was even the basest hint that the officer was in danger, but then I realized that he would probably agree with my remark.

    1. Go read the militia act, and 18USC242. The same argument that can be made for cops opening fire at the moment there’s the barest hint of danger also justifies any citizen to shoot back.

  10. Just as a point of interest, I see advertisements for Utah concealed carry permit classes up here. I have no idea why, it’s not like it’s a big deal to get a permit in Montana.

    The only explanation which comes to mind is that Utah permits might be recognized by more states.

    1. That is my understanding. Utah, Florida, and I think one other state have permits recognized by many states, so you can carry pretty much anywhere that allows concealed carry.

  11. “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    Why even bother with a paid police force at all then? If the law is only to be enforced when there’s no risk in doing so, pretty much anyone can do it.

    1. That is, in fact, the Constitutional model. Police forces fall into the same general category, Constitutionally, as a standing army does.

  12. I’m sure the good Lieutenant (no pun intended) would appreciate our feedback on this matter, and would also like the opportunity to clarify.

    That said, enjoy:

    CONTACT
    Lt. Francis Healy
    Special Advisor to the Police Commissioner
    215.686.3022
    francis.healy@phila.gov

    1. Mr Healy is also excited that his department used stimulus (taxpayer) money to buy 1000 new tazers and train the cops how to use them because they have had problems dealing with people who suffer from mental illness. (The problems include the cops killing one who had a boxcutter last year).

      http://www.policeone.com/polic…..al-TASERs/

  13. “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    Douche.

  14. How is that not an immediate suspension statement?

    If, by suspension, you mean promotion

  15. Lighten up Francis!

  16. If it’s Thursday and a Balko post, it must be time to get punched in the box!

    1. Ahhh, gender inequality.

  17. “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

    There is absolutely no way officer safety required arresting these men.

    However, his statement is correct. For instance, in the case where a lone cop is trying to make an arrest and being crowded by a bunch of friends of the arrestee; while normally people have a right to be wherever they want on public property, it’s reasonable to allow the officer to force people to keep their distance while he or she makes the arrest.

  18. This is the same police that dropped a bomb on a rooftop “bunker”, with children in the house, and burned down 65 homes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOVE

    1. …that killed 11 people including 5 children.

      1. But I don’t think any dogs got shot.

  19. 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 Pennsylvania general assembly made it as tough as possible for Philly to deny permits. It’s really not too difficult to get a CCW in philly, it’s just a little bit harder there than in the rest of the state. As long as you have a clean record, they pretty much have to issue the permit.

  20. “I was just following orders.”

    “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

    “Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second.”

  21. I’m firmly of the belief that we need a Constitutional amendment broadening the definition of Treason to include willfully and knowingly acting to violate or subvert the Constitution or any amendment thereof. Naturally, those sworn to uphold the law, such as police officers, and those who are educated and certified in their knowledge, such as lawyers and judges, would have an extremely difficult time proving they lacked knowledge of their crime in advance.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.