Still having trouble obtaining carry permit for my wife


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Brandon
March 22, 2005, 05:55 PM
A couple of months ago I described our situation in which my wife applied for a permit in April of 2004. We waited patiently. On advice we finally wrote a letter as follows.

March 17, 2005
Judge ____ __________
22 E. Broad Street
Newnan, GA 30263-1973
770-254-2640 / FAX 254-2648
I applied for a Firearms License to carry a concealed firearm in April of 2004. I am concerned that I have not yet received my license. I am a smaller stature woman and have to spend at least two days a week alone in a small office complex in order to take deliveries and other tasks that put me at personal risk while at work. If I could call police in case of trouble they would be some time away.

After several calls to the probate court I have been repeatedly been told that it is the FBI who is at fault. The FBI has had plenty of time on this matter.

I have spent considerable time reviewing the Georgia laws concerning firearms carry and usage in preparation for carrying a firearm. I found the following excerpt in Georgia Code 16-11-129 section "d":
Investigation of applicant; issuance of license. Each law enforcement agency, upon receiving such applications and obtaining such fingerprints, shall promptly conduct a thorough search of its records and records to which it has access and shall notify the judge of the probate court within 50 days, by telephone and in writing, of any finding relating to the applicant which may bear on his eligibility for a license under the terms of this Code section. When no derogatory information is found on the applicant bearing on his eligibility to obtain a license, a report shall not be required. The law enforcement agency shall return the application and the blank license form with the fingerprint thereon directly to the judge of the probate court within such time period. Not later than 60 days after the application the judge of the probate court shall issue the applicant a license to carry any pistol or revolver if no facts establishing ineligibility have been reported and if the judge determines the applicant has met all the qualifications, is of good moral character, and has complied with all the requirements contained in this Code section.

I spoke with a few Georgia residents about this issue, and they have the same understanding that there is a 60-day waiting period to obtain a Firearm License to carry a concealed firearm. After I waited almost a year to receive my Firearm License, I then decided to write, to bring this to your attention, in order to ensure my application is in order. Paperwork can get lost, mistakes can happen, I simply want to be sure the processing of my application is in order.

------- -------
-------------
----------, GA 3----



The response was as follows:


March 21, 2005

----- -------
---------------

Re: Firearms License

Dear Ms. Hammond:

The Judge received your letter concerning your firearms license today; however, there is nothing we can do if we do not have a final response from FBI. I understand your frustration; however, the normal waiting period at this time is about five to six months. This by far surpasses the 50 days in which you are referring.

I will repeat, we will NOT issued a license without final reports from FBI. We will investigate this; along with many others who are in your same situation, to see if we can get clearance from the FBI; however at the risk of sounding redundant; our hands are tied until further notice from FBI. The license will be issued when proper notice is received from them.

----- - -----
Probate Clerk


I typed this exactly, even including the spelling and grammar errors. What really upsets me is that this was written by the clerk, not dictated or otherwise from the Judge. For all I know they refer to the office as the Judge and she never saw it. This letter was a vain attempt after many phone calls. We are being told by the probate office that many other people are waiting this long although I don't know anyone personally. Myself and many friends recieved our license in 3 months or less.


What can we do now?

Brandon
Coweta County, Georgia

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Standing Wolf
March 22, 2005, 06:08 PM
...I simply want to be sure the processing of my application is in order.

Yeah. Right.

I believe I'd be inclined to contact my elected misrepresentatives at the federal and state levels, and ask them to contact the F., the B., and the I.

In all fairness, I suppose it's understandable the F., the B., and the I. haven't had time to look at your wife's finger prints, since after all, they're engrossed in the task of protecting the nation's borders.

Eskimo Jim
March 22, 2005, 06:50 PM
Brandon,
I would write again to the judge and send it return receipt so that you get a receipt that the letter was received.

You might also want to contact a lawyer.

Many states play games with delaying applications, fingerprints etc.

State law is state law and just because the FBI hasn't processed the prints doesn't give the state an excuse to violate their own law.

It sounds like you have a battle with city hall on your hands.

I'm surprised that you would have waited a year though. Be prepared to re-submit the entire package again.

Good luck

-Jim

Bear Gulch
March 22, 2005, 07:00 PM
Brandon,

Georgia didn't used to be a tough state to get a permit in. I am originally from Carrolton and got my first permit ther 20 years ago. I would contact the folks where you applied and have them trace the ap.

The FBI is not that slow I would imagine the print card has been mislaid. Remember the squeeky wheel gets the grease. Polite weekly phone calls will normally get folks on your side and working in your behalf.

Besides if a person can't get a permit in the County the Sherrif Lamar Potts ran, then we're all in trouble!

Brandon
March 22, 2005, 08:31 PM
Thanks for the ideas,

will make a phone call asking for a trace and about the print card.

If no satisfactory response then we'll mail another letter return reciept.

I don't want to pay a lawyer before contacting state officials.

thanks

Brandon

Bear Gulch
March 22, 2005, 10:24 PM
Beingrwally southern and polite will be a good tactic. Lots of times it will ensure that the folks at the courthouse remember you and want to help you.

rayra
March 23, 2005, 02:08 AM
Smells to me like an Anti in the Clerk's office is sitting on them.

And I'd once again review the applicable laws, as commonly they are just as you referred to in your letter - if nothing received by xx date, the license shall be issued - NOT as the Clerk has inferred - 'sit on it until the FBI gets back to us'.

Sounds like you are being deliberately jerked around with.

I would seek to contact the Judge directly to see if they are aware of this situation. I would also consider a consult with a local knowledgeable attorney on the matter, someone that is familiar with such matters nd the internal workings of that court. Well worth an hour of their time (nd your money) to get the inside scoop.

Rob62
March 23, 2005, 09:24 AM
Brandon,

Sorry to hear about your dilema. I'm just down the road from you in Carroll County. There have been no problems in getting licenses here as far as I know. Mine took about 2-3 months a year or so ago.

There have been some good recomendations so far.
As already said. Stay calm and professional in all your contacts with the license folks. Keep copies of all correspondence.

I'd definetly try to contact the judge or your counties final approval authority direct and ask them about the situation. If that does not clear up the problem contact your elected representative and make them aware of the situation asking them to look into the matter for you and any help they can give.

Good Luck,
Rob

Brandon
March 23, 2005, 06:10 PM
I talked to the clerk on the phone again today.

The judge says that she will not be pushed into issuing a license just because of the way someone is reading the law. She says it is still her discretion. The judge also says that she disagrees with the law. I think they are afraid of what the media would say if they issued a license and then some idiot murdered someone. If they wait for the FBI then it is the feds liability.

I have got a line on a lawyer.

I honestly think they believe they are doing the right thing regardless of how misguided it is. I don't think they are anti's. They have put a trace on the application and told me that the FBI usually responds with a "proceed" after a trace.

I have maintained my manners so far even though I have felt like saying "bless your heart" a couple of times.

Thanks again for letting me bounce Ideas off of you. I am going to go ahead and harvest a few names and addresses from the state legislature. Maybe we all need to write a few letters about the FBI dragging their feet. Its bad for us and good for miscreants.

Brandon

Brandon
March 23, 2005, 06:31 PM
How can a Probate Court take longer than 60 days when the law says that the court "shall issue" the permit "not later than 60 days after the date of the application?"
U78-45 The Unofficial Opinion of the Attorney General says that since a background check is an essential condition to the permit, the check must be completed before the permit is approved. To balance that the opinion also states that courts should strive to process the permit within 50 days or as quickly as possible

Guess there is nothing else to do except talk to the Georgia Attorney General and the GBI to see if there can be some grease put under the FBI's feet.

gazpacho
March 23, 2005, 08:13 PM
You might try contacting your state legislative representative. If s/he voted for the law, then they might be inclined to help you. Also, if judges are actively thwarting the law, then your representatives also need to know that. Finally, find out if the judge needs to be re-elected to office, or if it's a permanent appointment. that last bit won't help you know, but may be interesting information to pass around come election time.

Bear Gulch
March 23, 2005, 08:24 PM
I'd ask to have an appointment with the judge. Be polite, courteous, etc. But explain to her what is going on. Don't settle for what a clerk tells you. If that step fails THEN get the legislators involved. But give her the opportunity to make it good without loss of face first . Just my 2 cents.

Brandon
March 25, 2005, 09:58 PM
The clerk called today and said the FBI gave the go ahead.

License should be in before the end of the week.

I am still going to contact some legislators about the FBI.

thanks for all your ideas

Brandon

Bear Gulch
March 25, 2005, 10:28 PM
I wouldn't take it too personally. When I applied here in Idaho they sent my card back 3 times for reprinting. I have no print on my left ring finger due to a burn that was noted on the card. The Sheriff walked by during my last time in there checking up on the progress. He was briefed on the problem, said "I liked what you said in your talk at church", and signed my application. I guess my point is that the FBI print section gets bombarded every day. Sometimes they goof, but it isn't (IMHO) malicious.

Lone_Gunman
March 25, 2005, 10:51 PM
If I am following your time line right, you applied for the license in April 2004, and wrote your letter to the judge March 17, 2005. They replied March 21 and said the FBI had delayed the application for what amounts to about 10 months.

During your conversations, you say the judge expressed that she was against the CCW law.

Then within just a few days later, after your calls to press the point, they say the FBI has suddenly and miraculously approved your paperwork.

Does that sound fishy to anyone else?

I have a feeling this is not the FBI's delay. Sounds to me like this judge doesn't want to issue pistol permits. I bet the FBI's approval was given long ago.

Is there a way to find out from the FBI when they approved things? If it does not match the date the probate office is claiming, I would raise this issue with your legislators and senators.

Hawkmoon
March 25, 2005, 11:48 PM
I agree with Lone_Gunman. It should not matter in the slightest whether or not a judge agrees with a law. A judge is sworn to uphold the law.

IMHO, this judge should be reported to whatever higher authority in your state oversees the activities of probate judges. (AFTER your wife gets her permit, of course.)

Standing Wolf
March 26, 2005, 12:12 AM
Does that sound fishy to anyone else?

Smells like a bushel of last week's fish: anti-Second Amendment bigots drawing government pay checks.

Bear Gulch
March 26, 2005, 12:17 AM
I am sure that you can complain, but get the permit first. Years ago Georgia had the Sheriff's issue the permit. That worked very well. I am sorry that they changed the law.

DeputyVaughn
March 26, 2005, 12:32 AM
Boy I'm glad I read further than the title. I thought he needed a permit to carry his wife...........

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