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Author Topic: CCW QUESTION  (Read 2464 times)

AFAHL

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CCW QUESTION
« on: January 22, 2005, 08:24:12 am »

SO I APPLIED FOR MY PERMIT BACK IN MID NOV AND HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH MY LOCAL POLICE CHIEF SEVERAL TIMES I LIVE IN A VERY SMALL TOWN SO I THINK THERE IS ONLY LIKE 2 POLICE SO IT HAS BEEN ABOUT 8 WEEKS SINCE I APPLIED FOR IT AND HAVE GOTTEN ALL SORTS OF RUN AROUND ABOUT THE PERMIT FIRST THEY WERE WAITING ON CONCORD FOR 6 OF THE WEEKS NOW THE SARGENT DOES NOT WANT TO GIVE IT TO ME BECAUSE OF A DISORDERLY CONDUCT ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE LAW THAT IF I COULD OWN A HANDGUN IN NH THEY HAD TO GIVE ME A PERMIT AND I KNOW I CAN OWN A HANDGUN BECAUSE I BOUGHT ONE 3 DAYS AGO  SO WHAT SHOULD I DO THE OFFICER WANTS TO ARRANGE A PRIVATE MEET WITH ME TO DISCUSS THIS MATTER :'(
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AFAHL

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2005, 10:25:20 am »

I BOUGHT THE GUN THROUGH A LICENSED DEALER SO I WAS RUN THROUGH THE STATE CHECK AND WAS NOT DENIED OR DELAYED BUT MY MAIN CONCERN IS WITH BEING DENIED I DON'T BELIEVE THE LEGALLY CAN BUT I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE THATS WHAT I REALLY NEED HELP WITH
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mvpel

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2005, 10:52:44 am »

Are you a member of GO-NH yet?  This month's newsletter includes a postcard where you can report violations of the law like this.  It will help establish a pattern of behavior.

The legislators are getting fed up with it, and they're examining ways in which they can punish departments which don't follow the law such as revoking their certifications.
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mvpel

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2005, 12:10:37 pm »

You can still carry openly as long as you unload while in your car, according to former Director of Police Standards and Training Earl Sweeney as found in the August 2003 issue of the Articulable Suspicion newsletter:

Quote
Remember that New Hampshire is a state where a person who is not barred by the Brady bill can carry a loaded pistol or revolver in plain sight on their hip in public, and not be violating the law. They can also carry a pistol or revolver that is concealed from view, as long as the weapon is not loaded. They do not need a license in either case. The only time a license to carry is required is if they intend to carry the weapon both concealed and loaded, or loaded in a motor vehicle. Therefore, even though you decide a person who is otherwise not barred from carrying a firearm is not “suitable”, they could still carry it openly, virtually anywhere in the state except for a motor vehicle, an airport or a courthouse.
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AFAHL

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2005, 01:12:48 pm »

BY STATE LAW WHAT DOES " SUITABLE" MEAN
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mvpel

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2005, 04:36:26 pm »

BY STATE LAW WHAT DOES " SUITABLE" MEAN

Please turn off your caps-lock - it's a lot easier to read if you do.

There's no statutory definition of "suitable".

In the same Articulable Suspicion article, Earl Sweeney discusses this question as follows:

Quote from: Earl Sweeney
Another question readers have bombarded us with, since the letter came out, is whether Attorney Dean is correct in her conclusion that the only thing that makes someone an “unsuitable person” for a license to carry is if they have been convicted of a felony or a crime of domestic violence, or are subject to a restraining order. RSA 159 itself does not define “suitable person.” We can conceive of instances where a person’s behavior is such that, even though they have not been convicted of a felony or a domestic violence crime and are not subject to a restraining order, they might not be a suitable person to carry a concealed weapon.

If this was challenged in an appellate court, we think the arguments might go like this: The person challenging the licensing authority would claim that since there is no definition of “suitable person” in the law, the licensing authority must first consult the dictionary definition of “suitable”, which is “appropriate to a particular occasion or condition, fitting, proper, or appropriate.” Then, they would argue, you would have to search the relevant state and federal statutes to locate those instances where a person would be clearly unsuitable, and restrict the definition to those instances, e.g., probably cases where the Brady bill would prohibit such a person from purchasing firearms or ammunition.

The licensing authority defending the refusal to issue the license would probably argue that since there is only a dictionary definition of the word, the licensing authority was not restricted to instances where a person is barred by specific state or federal statutes from possessing a firearm, but could also include any instance where in the view of the licensing authority it would not be “fitting, proper or appropriate” to license such person.

In fact, there is some support for this latter position in the Administrative Rules of the Department of Safety, which are adopted under authority of RSA 541-A and thus have the force of law. The Department of Safety’s rule Saf-C 2103.1, entitled, Suitable Person, states that a license to carry shall be denied if the applicant is not a suitable person to be licensed, and goes on to state that, “A license shall be denied if any of the following factors exist.” The factors it cites include “the reasons for which an applicant was denied a prior permit ... the applicant was convicted of a felony ... the applicant is a drug abuser ... the applicant had a prior mental health problem, as defined in RSA 135-C:2, X ... the applicant was convicted of a misdemeanor involving theft, drugs, or violence ... or any other evidence that would indicate the applicant is not suitable for licensing.”

Note that the definition of a “mental health problem” in RSA 135-C:2, X, refers to the definition of “mental illness” in that section, i.e., having a substantial impairment of emotional processes or of the ability to exercise conscious control of one’s actions, or the ability to perceive reality or to reason, when the impairment is manifested by instances of extremely abnormal behavior or extremely faulty perceptions not caused by epilepsy, mental retardation, alcohol or drug intoxication or dependency upon or addiction to a substance such as alcohol or drugs.

We believe there is a burden on the licensing entity, relying on the catchall portion of the above rule dealing with “any other evidence” of unsuitability, to establish by at least a preponderance of the evidence substantial facts to support their conclusion that the person was unsuitable. Certainly Attorney Dean’s advice that the refusal of a license should not be based on “personal vendettas or playing favorites” should be taken to heart. Every community has its share of harmless gadflies whose mission in life seems to be to criticize and annoy the authorities, and this behavior in itself, if all conducted within the law, would not constitute an excuse to refuse to issue a license to carry.

The administrative rule he cites, Saf-C 2103.1, applies to non-resident licensees, not residents, however, so the mandatory language ("shall") doesn't apply to the issuance of your own license.  Residents have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms for defense of self, family, property and the state.  (Let me know if you'd like a PDF copy of this Articulable Suspicion newsletter.)

Before agreeing to meet with the police, I'd touch base with Penny Dean <penny@pennydean.com>, who is a gun rights attorney in Concord.  She may have some recommendations for you to help you avoid being buffaloed or intimidated.  Also, be sure to leave a voice mail on the GO-Phone of Gun Owners of New Hampshire at 603-225-GONH - Sam Cohen, who retrieves those messages, is a staunch advocate of carry rights and I'm certain he'd be very interested to talk to you.

If you study up and know your facts and the law, you should be able to take the upper hand with the department in a meeting.  They have already violated the law by failing to issue or deny within fourteen days, and as Sweeney pointed out, if you're not prohibited from possessing a firearm the only thing they're preventing by failing to issue a license is carrying concealed, or loaded in a car.  You can carry openly, or carry your empty pistol concealed in one pocket and the magazine in the other, and there's nothing they can do about it except try to harass you.

In fact, if I were you I'd probably carry openly to any meeting with them, just to underscore for them the real meaning of what they're doing.

By the way, it's not a "permit," it's a license.  Think "marriage permit" vs. "marriage license," and be sure to ask Sam Cohen to explain the details.  That's one of his pet peeves.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2005, 04:38:49 pm by mvpel »
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mvpel

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Re: CCW QUESTION
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2005, 08:19:32 am »

The GO-NH board members like and respect GOA, and as I understand it helped coordinate financial support from GOA to Blake Edwards, for the court case regarding the trap-shooting yearbook photo when the NRA decided they weren't going to fund the case.

The fact is, the NRA is the 800-pound gorilla in the gun rights movement, love 'em or hate 'em, and the fact that a local gun rights org that is fighting the state and local battles talks to the NRA occasionally and avails themselves of the NRA's considerable resources when necessary shouldn't come as a surprise.
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