BFPE 8.14.2014
Case 14-182D, Denial from East Hampton Chief Sean Cox

Chief Cox is a relatively new Chief in East Hampton. East Hampton doesn’t have a history of being a town that violates citizens rights. One would have to wonder if this is a new direction. Former CT State Trooper of 20 plus years, seems to not want to issue a permit.

The appellant had added arrests listed on his application. Voluntary admission for which he DID NOT have to include. Those charges were:

A DUI
B Drug possession.

Interesting fact: AT 3:50 into the video, Secretary Fishbein asks clearly “You would agree that you have no facts about the underlying cases for which you’ve denied this gentleman a permit”. Further adds no convictions and asks why he was denied.

The Chief says the two arrests and said this case he wanted to take to the board. He was asked by the board if he asked the appellant about these charges. Chief admits he did not. Further gives a really weird answer of he wanted to have him answer these questions at the firearms board under oath. This, is a new one. Make an appellant wait for a hearing to ask a question under oath, rather than in his own department makes absolutely zero sense.

Midway through the video, Secretary Fishbein makes a motion to find for the appellant because he was “baffled” that the town has ZERO issues to deny this appellant. Chairman Blando correctly states that he doesn’t believe that the appellant should have to testify against himself.

Boardmember Greer, as usual, feels the town does nothing wrong. No problem with the chief making a citizen wait for a permit and appear in front of the board even when he hasn’t done anything wrong. Greer often feels that the permit process is too easy. Hilarious, in that CT has one of the most onerous pistol permit processes in the nation.

Secretary Fishbein admits that the Chief simply did not do enough to ascertain whether the appellant was suitable or not.

Motion gets voted on and the board votes in favor of the motion except for Attorney Greer. Think about that bias for a moment: Attorney Greer sees no problem with a town dragging a citizen in front of the board for the sole purpose of having him testify against himself.

Lessons learned:

1. Fill out the application correctly. In a firearms board hearing or on paper, answer questions truthfully while paying attention to the law. Simply put, pay attention to the statutes and answer the questions asked. Get a copy of a criminal record (there are fees to pay, but it’s worth it to not wait up to two years for a hearing!). A person knows if they’ve been arrested or not. Track back and find out what the outcome was of each case.

2. Remember, it’s the job of the issuing authority to find an appellant unsuitable. It is NOT the job of the appellant to help the issuing authority find them unsuitable. Suitability is a very vague word and no need to give the issuing authority any reason to hold up the permit process.

3. Pay close attention to any documents you sign and declare under oath that they are true to the best of your knowledge. If you fail to disclose anything on your application, you legally are lying under oath. You are signing a document in front of a notary and it should be taken with the appropriate level of seriousness. If you fail to disclose anything, the board can draw “adverse inference” and assume that there is a reason you are trying to hide something. Once that happens, it’s difficult to get them to see you in an honest light.

Remember this part of the pistol permit application regarding arrests.

Notice:
You are not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to C.G.S. 46b-146, 54-76o, or 54-142a. If your criminal records have been erased pursuant to one of these statutes, you may swear under oath that you have never been arrested.

Criminal records that may be erased are records pertaining to a finding of delinquency or that a child was a member of a family with service needs (C.G.S. 46b-146), an adjudication as a youthful offender (C.G.S. 54-76o), a criminal charge that has been dismissed or nolled, a criminal charge for which the person has been found not guilty, or a conviction for which the person received an absolute pardon (C.G.S. 54-142a).

With regard to criminal history information arising from jurisdictions other than the State of Connecticut: You are not required to disclose the existence of any arrest, criminal charge or conviction, the records of which have been erased pursuant to the law of the other jurisdiction. Additionally, you are not required to disclose the existence of an arrest arising from another jurisdiction if you are permitted under the law of that jurisdiction to swear under oath that you have never been arrested.

Bottom line:  Be honest, but don’t do the issuing authorities job for them.  They have a LOT more leeway than an appellant when they appear in front of the board.  The board will NOT draw adverse inference from a town that doesn’t follow the statutes when processing pistol permit applications.  I know it’s not fair, but it is what I have observed in over 4 years attending Board of Firearms Permit Examiners hearings.

Here is the video of the hearing.

Posted by Jonathan at 23 July 2014

Category: CT, firearms used in self defense

They say that attack awakened the upstairs roommate, who came downstairs armed with a handgun and confronted the teen.
Wish I was able to legally obtain a firearms at fifteen <sarcasm off>.

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20140723/News/140729817#ixzz38IL8L88Q

Posted by Jonathan at 27 March 2014

Category: Negligent Discharges

On Saturday, March 8th 2014, a Naugatuck officer had a negligent discharge when he grabbed a shotgun in his cruiser and discharged a round through the roof and also damaged the sally port at the PD.  The incident occurred just after 11:00 AM at the Naugatuck police department.

Reporters from the “Citizens news” made Freedom of Information Act Requests and contacted the department spokesman.  According to Lt. Bryan Cammarata, the department’s spokesman:

The shotgun that was discharged was located on a gun rack inside a newer police vehicle, he said.

Cammarata said the shotguns are normally left in a state called “cruiser ready.” Rounds are in the tube, but none are “chambered.” They must be jacked into the chamber upon removing the gun for use.

If the round is not used, the round is to be removed from the chamber and placed back into the tube before placing the gun back into the vehicle in the cruiser ready state, he said. The department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the incident to determine how the shotgun went off, he said.

So, bottom line:  Improper storage and handling of a firearm.

http://www.mycitizensnews.com/news/2014/03/police-investigating-officers-accidental-discharge/

Posted by Jonathan at 3 February 2014

Category: Negligent Discharges

And, we go back.

There are serious issues with the way the Bridgeport PD sweeps firearms “negligence” under the rug when it’s their own.  If you look at my other post on the topic, you’ll note that Officer Santiago was getting off light, then after we announced our protest with media present, they decided to hand the case off to the State Police.

That part of the case is at a standstill.  The Bridgeport police chief swears that there was no special treatment or “sweeping it under the rug”, but we disagree.  Six weeks later, a private citizen had a similar discharge, but in a “not as dangerous” situation (in a home).  Now, as a firearms instructor, I’m not discounting one over the other, they were both pitiful in regards to safety.  I will, however, fight for equal application of the law.  And it simply wasn’t done in this case.  Here is a brief outline of the differences:

 

Officer Santiago Private Citizen
Date December 17th, 2013 January 27th, 2014
Incident location Public place, bagel shop with others standing near. Private residence
Damage Bullet hits the leg of officer Santiago, leaves a bowling ball sized hole in a window and don’t’ know where the bullet went. Bullet went through the wall, had contact with the next building over.
Excuse given I didn’t know it was loaded I didn’t know it was loaded
Errors in judgment Shouldn’t handle a gun and/or pull the trigger in a public place. 
Didn’t remove the magazine before racking the slide back and loading a round in the chamber. 
NEVER clear a gun by pulling the trigger (unless you are using the safety of a range).
Improper techniques when cleaning a firearm.  Quite possibly the EXACT same mistake Officer Santiago made
Charges None.  Still.
Bridgeport PD could have done the same, but chose to sweep it under the rug.  Only after we had our first protest on December 23rd was it handed over to the state police for investigation
Unlawful discharge of a firearm,
Second-degree reckless endangerment
Criminal mischief in the third degree.
He was released after posting $1,500 bond.

Here is a link to an interview I gave to the CT Post on the return to the Bridgeport PD to once again demand equal application of the law.

There is a facebook event dedicated to Monday, February 3rds event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/640834905976595/

Posted by Jonathan at 28 December 2013

Category: Negligent Discharges

Can’t really make this stuff up.  Keeping it here “for the record” since many look back to this site for these crazy instances of where law enforcement training seems to be “lacking”.

Essentially, a Bridgeport PD officer decides to “clear” a weapon in a bagel shop after receiving it back from a friend.  The gun WAS un-chambered, but had a magazine.  When he racked the slide, he loaded and…. well…. the rest is kinda obvious.

Protesters angry over Bridgeport officer’s accidental shooting – we kept telling reporters NEGLIGENT, but it wouldn’t take!

—–Protestors want action on cop shooting

—–Officer just shot himself in my store Negligent.

Posted by Jonathan at 31 October 2013

Category: Negligent Discharges

These negligent discharges are happening far too often as of late.

Here’s the basics here from the Hartford Courant:

According to an incident report from Windsor, a resident of Village Lane called police on Sept. 25 after his daughter found a bullet in her bed. The daughter told police that three days earlier she had discovered a hole in her bedroom wall just underneath the window.

 

Police examined the bullet hole and determined the shot came from a southerly direction. An officer then went to Smith’s residence, which is just south of the caller’s house.

 

Smith told Windsor police that on the evening of Sept. 24, he was in his bedroom unloading his off-duty handgun when he accidentally fired one shot, the incident report states. Smith said he checked the hole in his bedroom wall with a screwdriver and thought the bullet had stayed inside the wall. He also said he checked outside for evidence that the bullet had exited the wall and found none, according to the report.

The most frustrating part of all these issues is the new laws that punish law abiding citizens, created a whole separate class of citizen for law enforcement.  They can still purchase a majority of banned firearms and keep them after they sever their service from their agency.  It simply isn’t right.

Here is a link to the original article from The Hartford Courant:
Hartford Police Sergeant Under Review For Accidentally Firing Gun Into Neighbor’s House While Off-Duty

Posted by Jonathan at 1 September 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT

Many towns are still using the excuse that they are still waiting for background checks from the state.

We’re not buying this excuse (especially since the state has said in July that they are caught up!).

Lt. Paul Vance said state police have caught up on processing fingerprint cards needed for pistol permit applicants. Criminal histories for about 2,900 applicants are still under review, with the oldest one dating back to May 13, he said last week.

“They’re pumping them out and they’re getting them out under the eight- or nine-week deadline,” Vance said. “Basically, they’re caught up.”

You can read the rest of the article here:

http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1806120420/State-police-clear-backlog-of-gun-background-checks

We feel that the issue stems from a memo that the state sent out to departments throughout the state earlier in the year.  Since then, many towns have been using that as an excuse to further delay processing permit applications.

Many applicants may want to cite the above referenced article where the state has said they are no longer behind.

Posted by Jonathan at 27 August 2013

Category: Site Announcements

Seems we got noticed by the evil spam bots.  After a few years of running this site – they finally got us!

All should be up and back to normal now.

Jonathan

Posted by Jonathan at 20 May 2013

Category: Issues - State of CT

The following from www.yankeegunner.com:

 

As discussed in this weeks podcast. Here is the audio from the May 10th Board of Firearms Permit Examiners hearing. In this audio, the BFPE explains to Groton (town) that their process simply isn’t legal and what they must do to conform to the law.

Listen or download here

Posted by Jonathan at 7 March 2013

Category: Negligent Discharges

Again, not an “accidental” discharge, it’s a negligent discharge.  Finger shouldn’t be on the trigger, especially when the firearm is pointed at a fellow officers foot!!!

Here’s a brief from the article:

During the lockdown, a Manchester police officer was shot in the foot. However, he did not shoot himself. It was an accidental discharge by another officer.

Wow, they kinda “white washed” over these two sentences in order to talk more about the EVIL gun on campus.  NOTHING happened in the other situation, several paragraphs.  Officer shot in foot, two sentences.

Here’s the original article:

Manchester police officer shot by fellow officer during college lockdown