Thanks for starting the day with us. Happy Friday, Philly. Advocates for open-carry are taking part in a debate over rights in Philadelphia's suburbs. When an Abington man was seen walking around a neighborhood with an AR-15 rifle, some gun owners wondered why it was even news. Weddings can be stressful enough, but imagine if weeks before the I-dos, your venue shuts down and on top of that, you don't get your money back. That's become reality for some Philly couples, but an outpouring of support has followed. Tammi Jo Shults and her co-pilot have been called heroes for safely landing a Southwest plane in Philadelphia after its engine exploded. They're opening up about the ordeal for the first time publicly. There's plenty to get to today, so let's get started.
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Open carry advocates in Philadelphia's suburbs have been pushed into a debate after a man in Abington was seen on several occasions walking around with an AR-15 rifle. Mark Fiorino of Allentown thought "it shouldn't even be in the news."
In 45 states, open carry is legal in some capacity and in Pennsylvania you do not need a license to do so, except in Philadelphia. The Abington man, still unidentified by authorities, claimed he was trying to educate the public by carrying the weapon around. Statements from the man's friends caused police to take a closer look. They ultimately took his weapon away and committed him for mental health evaluation.
Some open-carry advocates like Fiorino say that the Abington man did not take the proper approach and Fiorino says that he might have been new to open carry. He adds that where he lives, he has noticed fewer negative encounters with police and other citizens when they notice the gun on his hip in recent years.
No one can pull off the perfect wedding on their own. The outpouring of support for a group of Philly couples might be the ultimate example of that.
Earlier this week, my colleague Anna Orso reported on a Fishtown wedding venue that suddenly shut down following a battle with the city over the necessary license to host large events – a license the venue did not have. The closure, just weeks before the I-dos of several couples, left them out in the cold and short thousands of dollars.
That's when folks came to the rescue. When their stories became public, several businesses and organizations offered to help solve the critical issue for these couples. Among them was developer Bart Blatstein. who has a plan involving his Atlantic City hotel for all the unlucky couples.
"Extraordinary." That's the word the pilots, who landed a plane in Philadelphia last month after its engine exploded, used in their first public interview to describe the moment they heard a loud bang and knew something was wrong.
The bang meant it was time for pilot Tammie Jo Shults to quickly assess the situation and take action to save lives. Shults and co-pilot Darren Ellisor never doubted that they could safely land the plane as passengers experienced 20 minutes of terror in the sky.
Shults and the crew sent a letter to the husband of Jennifer Riordan, the passenger who died after the emergency landing. Shults said speaking with Riordan's husband taught her "what a sweet and rich family they are." You can watch the full interview with Shults and Ellisor tonight on ABC.
That's a beautiful way to end the day at Dilworth Park, @valer1ej.
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