Archive for the ‘Board of Firearms Permit Examiners’ Category

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:

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.

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.