MA Police Chief denies permit due to Internet posting.


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LickitySplit
December 16, 2009, 10:45 AM
For the record, the OP (Jessie Cohen), is a respected and trusted attorney specializing in MA firearms laws and not one to knowingly or unknowingly spread false or misleading information.

It's also important to mention that MA requires a permit for purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition.



Ladies and Gentlemen:

Not only are our 2nd Amendment Rights under attack, but now the Swampscott Police has placed our 1st Amendment Rights in jeopardy as well.

The language from the actual letter of denial reads as follows:

"Applicant appears to be overly anxious and unreasonably impatient with the time required for the licensing process. On-line postings suggest a lack of maturity and an inappropriate preoccupation with firearms and the circumstance surrounding the use of deadly force."

This is not a joke! This is for real!

http://northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=86489

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mcdonl
December 16, 2009, 10:49 AM
inappropriate preoccupation with firearms

hahahaha doesnt sound like anyone I know....

kermit315
December 16, 2009, 10:53 AM
Incorporation cant come fast enough.

Frank Ettin
December 16, 2009, 11:19 AM
Does this help answer the question of whether your forum postings can be used against you?

wishin
December 16, 2009, 11:39 AM
While the Police Chief's denial seems unreasonable on the face of it, this reinforces what's been said by some in a recent post concerning Facebook. That is, and I paraphrase, don't say anything on the internet that can come back to bite you! And that applies to THR too, if you can be ID'd.

General Geoff
December 16, 2009, 11:54 AM
It is none of the chief's business what the applicant's legal hobbies and interests are.

Officers'Wife
December 16, 2009, 12:06 PM
You MUST remember, this is an LEO! His judgment in regards to public safety is far superior to your own due to the magical properties of his position. He must know better and is perfectly within the limits of his authority. How DARE you question him?

Maelstrom
December 16, 2009, 12:10 PM
What isn't mentioned is that his screen name is Gecko45

Frank Ettin
December 16, 2009, 12:30 PM
It is none of the chief's business what the applicant's legal hobbies and interests are. As long as it's a "may issue" state, the chief can get away with making it his business. That won't change unless/until the permitting system changes or is discarded entirely. You will, of course, object to the system; but that doesn't change the fact that at present the system is reality.

edSky
December 16, 2009, 01:00 PM
While it might not be wise to post everything online, this disturbs me for one reason and one reason only. Anything you say or do can, at any time, be used against you for any reason, in a tyrannical government.

Big Brother is watching, and as paranoid as ever. Buy a Penthouse magazine? Someday that may bite you in the arse. High Times will burn you. Model Railroading Enthusiast may get you shunted off to prison since you can learn how to move things. Who knows? Anything is game when an over-controlling and un-checked entity is in charge.

If we worried about all of this and rolled over the deal would be sealed. We just need to live our lives, and when someone like the Chief in Swampscott does something outrageous? Let everyone know just like we're doing. Word will get out and eventually right will prevail.

Nugilum
December 16, 2009, 01:07 PM
Not to belittle the OP but:
What isn't mentioned is that his screen name is Gecko45

That was funny! :D

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 01:10 PM
Applicant appears to be overly anxious and unreasonably impatient with the time required for the licensing process.

If you want the license, you can't get it.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. 'Orr' was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to.

Maybe the guy should have posted as Yossarian.:D

(That said, and as much as this stuff can piss me off, I'll withhold judgment until I see what this guy actually posted.)

Maelstrom
December 16, 2009, 02:23 PM
Everyone is rushing to his aid but if he posted something like, "MY PERMIT IS TAKING TOO LONG! I'M GONNA KILL THE CHIEF WHEN I GET MY GUN!"

Then, suddenly, it seems like perhaps the chief may have been on to something.

Dope
December 16, 2009, 02:45 PM
It took me 7 months to get my permit here in MA. I can understand why he may have seemed anxious about the wait.

I guess the people who think you should post with your real name (instead of an alias like Dope) haven't a clue eh?

Dope

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 02:49 PM
Maelstrom, like I said, I'll withhold judgment until I see what this guy actually posted.:)

NelsErik
December 16, 2009, 02:53 PM
Just wait till the clown that messed up MA gets the tap for 2012. Romney is terrible!

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 02:56 PM
Romney? Who's that?:)

Whoever runs and wins in 2012, even if we haven't heard of him/her yet, I'll make this prediction: he/she will have a bestselling autobiography.

I'd bet money on it.

It's funny, too, since most of the country doesn't read the stuff.

(At the risk of invoking Godwin, do you know who the first guy to use this technique was?:eek:)

Navy_Guns
December 16, 2009, 03:01 PM
The police chief was probably having a bad day after his request for a building permit to add on to his kitchen was denied:

"Applicant appears to be overly anxious and unreasonably impatient with the time required for the licensing process. On-line postings suggest a lack of maturity and an inappropriate preoccupation with donuts and the circumstance surrounding the use of powdered sugar."

Rawb77
December 16, 2009, 03:03 PM
Ditto, I wanna see what the guy originally posted.

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 03:07 PM
I'd say that's unlikely, Navy Guns. Do you have any evidence that cops make their own donuts?:D

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_T5l4T1v6mz4/ScB6AxuNvBI/AAAAAAAABF0/4Q-hmogVLco/s400/chief_wiggum.png

swiftak
December 16, 2009, 03:21 PM
If you are going to live in that "lovely, progressive, forward thinking" peoples utopia you get what you deserve. I have to be nice so my post won't be pulled. But you guys keep bringing up that state.

gripper
December 16, 2009, 03:23 PM
What a piece of work.... life aint percfect up here in Nashua,but I am SO happy to NOT be living in massghanistan anymore....some of the chiefs are decent ;but htis guy is another badged pantload.

JESmith
December 16, 2009, 03:38 PM
Sounds like the guy got a case of the stupids. If you live in a small town, there are a couple of things to remember:

1. The police chief knows who you are, who your dad is, your mom is, and probably most of your close relatives.

2. Don't mouth off on a local gun board. The police chief is probably a member.

wishin
December 16, 2009, 03:40 PM
(At the risk of invoking Godwin, do you know who the first guy to use this technique was?)

Are you referring to papa O's autobiography?

swiftak
December 16, 2009, 03:48 PM
Swampscott isn't a small town. Its just a burb of Boston.

DocCas
December 16, 2009, 04:01 PM
"Mine Kampf." "My Struggle" in English.

TexasRifleman
December 16, 2009, 04:06 PM
I'll withhold judgment until I see what this guy actually posted.

So you're OK with attaching a First Amendment test to the ability to exercise the Second Amendment?

Unless the speech itself is a crime, denying the permit because of it makes me sick. And, if the speech itself was a crime, why didn't the Chief have the guy arrested?

"Terroristic Threat" is usually defined as: (can certainly vary state to state)

•willful threat of a crime which would result in great bodily injury;
•specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat, whether or not the perpetrator intended to carry it out;
•the threat, under the circumstances, conveyed a “gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat”;
•the threat actually caused the person threatened to be in sustained fear; and
•the threatened person’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances.

If it doesn't fit those things I'm not sure there is much basis for denying the permit.

LickitySplit
December 16, 2009, 04:09 PM
Everyone is rushing to his aid but if he posted something like, "MY PERMIT IS TAKING TOO LONG! I'M GONNA KILL THE CHIEF WHEN I GET MY GUN!"

Then, suddenly, it seems like perhaps the chief may have been on to something.

It's not unreasonable to assume that if the applicant had posted anything that could be construed as being a threat or actions that could be considered harmful to himself or others, the chief would have stated that.

If that were the case, it might at least give the chief some basis for denying the permit.

Near as I can tell, the posters only faux pas is getting impatient with the chief and posting it online.

heeler
December 16, 2009, 04:19 PM
God I am glad i live in gun friendly Texas.

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 04:26 PM
Unless the speech itself is a crime, denying the permit because of it makes me sick. And, if the speech itself was a crime, why didn't the Chief have the guy arrested?


The way I see it, the problem is that the permit is "may issue" and doesn't involve due process, not the First Amendment. Free Speech doesn't imply "no consequences."

Issuing the permit shouldn't be discretionary in the first place. And the Second Amendment is entirely separate from the First.

TexasRifleman
December 16, 2009, 04:32 PM
And the Second Amendment is entirely separate from the First.

Not in MA apparently :)

No, I'm with you, they shouldn't be related at all. But even in "may issue" states I'm not OK with the use of simple speech to deny the permit. That's a stretch it seems to me.

sherman123
December 16, 2009, 04:35 PM
I'd also like to see exactly what this guy wrote. "Preoccupation with firearms"??? Count me in as one of those people. Although the part about circumstances surrounding deadly force makes me wonder what else he posted. Still if there was anything threatening posted then I'd agree that this guy would've had some legal action taken against him, not just a permit denial.

ArmedBear
December 16, 2009, 04:37 PM
I'm not OK with the use of simple speech to deny the permit

Me, too. But, as someone not born yesterday, I have to stop and acknowledge that I don't know what the speech was, nor how simple it was.:)

Could be that the guy badmouthed Chief Wiggum on a political board or blog, and this is retaliation. Could also be that the guy really did make himself sound like a complete nutball, and the Chief believed he was just doing his job to deny the permit (knowing that, if he approved it, and the guy went and shot up the trailer park, the news media would blame the gun, and the Chief for approving the permit, instead of the shooter).

That's why "may issue" is wrong: it's the rule of men, not of law. But... the Chief could have been in a no-win situation here, given the laws as they stand in Massachusetts.

So I'm still curious about what the guy wrote, and the real basis for the denial.

"Preoccupation with firearms"???

Unless it was political or personal retaliation by the chief, I somehow doubt that "preoccupation" means that the guy had expressed extreme eagerness to buy a 99% Colt Python he saw at the gun shop...:)

EdLaver
December 16, 2009, 05:10 PM
I just can't imagine myself living in a state that requires you to have a permit to buy ammunition. My god if Texas ever does that then I will have to go looking for another country to live in.

Patrick R
December 16, 2009, 06:07 PM
Boston/Swampscott = Anti gun Barney Frank.

You need to move!

NinjaFeint
December 16, 2009, 06:57 PM
It's easier to get an out of state permit in Mass because it is through the state police not some town's chief

jnyork
December 16, 2009, 07:07 PM
Thank you, God, for giving me Wyoming as my home ! :)

Erik M
December 16, 2009, 08:55 PM
Thank the Lord I live in the south. When I turned my FFL papers over to my county's Sheriff he said, "I don't know why the Fed's give you the run-a-round with all this paperwork, son". Free coffee in thier office too.

wrs840
December 16, 2009, 09:05 PM
^^^^
What he said.

If you live in a small town, there are a couple of things to remember:

1. The police chief knows who you are, who your dad is, your mom is, and probably most of your close relatives...

And that's working well for me also so far. It's a good thing to be considered "one of the good guys" by the local LE establishment, and living where they're almost all "the good guys" too. To expand philosophically, I'm not so sure that in the long-run, our society can survive on written-law enforced by bureaucracy alone. Informal relationships among "the good-guys" may be required too.

Les

NinjaFeint
December 16, 2009, 09:15 PM
CT is much more limited in what you can be denied for. This just makes certain towns more creative. They will tell you that they have no appointments left for fingerprinting for the next three months or something like that. Then some towns get you the results (background check/application review) back quicker than others. Mine took over month and my brothers took 4 days.

gym
December 16, 2009, 09:31 PM
Once you put it out there you can't take it back. I just reformatted a drive and was able to pull emails from 2 years ago off of the server. As far as permits go the word permit kind of means they are permitting you to drive, shoot, carry etc. When they decide to stop permitting you, then it's a problem that becomes an individual matter. If the DMV feels you can no longer drive in a safe manner, they can refuse to issue you a drivers license in some areas. We should not jump to far ahead here without knowing the specific circumstances. There are people out there that should not have the ability to carry loaded weapons. I am sure we have all met a few in our lives, same as the ones who shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car. Some ware along the line someone may have to be politically incorrect and say, "hold on here" this person is at risk or just not competent

Officers'Wife
December 17, 2009, 11:40 AM
To expand philosophically, I'm not so sure that in the long-run, our society can survive on written-law enforced by bureaucracy alone. Informal relationships among "the good-guys" may be required too.

That is one of the most frightening statements I've seen on the net in a very long time.

Golden_006
December 17, 2009, 11:48 AM
How are these places gun laws even more draconian NY State? I never thought I'd see the day.

SteveCase
December 17, 2009, 12:30 PM
Mitt Romney, thats pretty old we have deval patrick now which is as bad as romney, both of them are horrible policticans and if Mitt runs in 2012 you can bet ur butt im not gonna vote for the POS.

If steven colbert runs im voting for him hahahahaha. but seriously anyone is better than Romney

Jim K
December 17, 2009, 12:59 PM
It is hard to judge without seeing the original postings, but even given a control-freak for a police chief, this is a good place to point out that posting on a web site, facebook or whatever, is not a chat among friends. It is like going on Larry King with a megaphone. Maybe ten million or hundred million people can read this if they want.

I realize that some postings do show immaturity, and some even hint at possible criminal activity (and I have said so here and elsewhere), but this sounds like the chief is one of those who will use any excuse to deny the permit.

I once had an Arlington County, VA, detective tell me he turned down a handgun purchase because the applicant had a hole in his screen door that should be fixed before he spent money on a gun. Then he told me the real reason - "and he was a snotty n****r b*****d." The screen door had nothing to do with denying the man his rights; his race had everything to do with it.

Jim

psyfly
December 17, 2009, 01:53 PM
Okay,

"If steven colbert runs im voting for him hahahahaha"

Funny, for sure.

I might vote for the real Stephen Colbert but could never vote for the lib actor of the same name that plays Stephen Colbert.

Seriously, whether we get incorporation or not (and I believe we will), we will still have a long and scattered fight over 'reasonable restrictions' for a long time to come.

I'm afraid we can't relax about our 2nd amendment rights any more than we can about the rest of them.

I'm still pi$$ed about W,'s disregard of the 4th and the fact that congress allows his Homeland Security to continue unmanaged.

(If nobody hears from me for a while, don't send help, it'll be too late; save yourselves:eek:).

Best,

Will

Warlokke
December 17, 2009, 04:02 PM
Just my .02.....

"may issue" law = rule of man (potential for tyranny, anyone ever study the Jim Crow laws and blacks in the South not being allowed arms?)

"shall issue" law = rule of law (OK, but can be overly proscriptive, like the Brady Bill was.)

Vermont, Alaska law = U.S. Constitution (what part of "shall not be abridged" don't you understand....)

Anyone's opinion about whether someone should be allowed to carry a weapon, own a weapon, buy a weapon, etc. is nothing more than advocating the rule of man (they just want to be the one making the decision...see the current crop of politicians of any ilk).

Rule of law mean everyone abides by written or unwritten laws regardless of who they are, and supposedly this ensures fairness and equality (blind justice for example).

Our Constitution was written to put shackles on our governement so they couldn't interfere with our basic liberties as granted by God, and charged the government with securing those liberties.....looks like we have let the rule of law (case law in most cases) get to proscriptive and take away a lot of our liberties as guaranteed under the US Constitution.

If you want real change, then vote....every single time, even if it is for head dog catcher and shame everyone you know into voting as well.

wishin
December 17, 2009, 05:58 PM
Does this help answer the question of whether your forum postings can be used against you?
Putting paranoia aside, Government can and does access information on individuals from the internet. The technology to track an individual through his ISP address is available and likely in use by various agencies. The legality of using the info obtained in this manner is debatable IMO. I don't see this as much different than tapping your phone; although probably not illegal when it involves a forum such as THR since we're putting it out in a public domain, but gaining access to e-mails, etc., has to be an invasion of privacy. I plan to keep to posting anything that IMO can't lead to identity theft, or some other negative ramifications.

rmfnla
December 17, 2009, 07:05 PM
Romney? Who's that?:)


You know; the Desert Fox...

Erik M
December 17, 2009, 07:11 PM
You know; the Desert Fox...
That was Erwin Rommel.

SharpsDressedMan
December 17, 2009, 08:01 PM
I hope the arrogance of this chief of police cost the village some serious money. I hope the denied applicant gets a jury, and they award lots of compensatory and punitive damages from the town coffers. I'd like to hear where this goes, so if any THR members nearby get the results, be sure and post them here. I'll bet the attorney for the city is already wishing the chief had kept his tainted attitude SEPARATE from any decision to approve or deny the permit.

Double Naught Spy
December 17, 2009, 08:22 PM
For the record, the OP (Jessie Cohen), is a respected and trusted attorney specializing in MA firearms laws and not one to knowingly or unknowingly spread false or misleading information.

He apparently is one to draw some bizarre conclusions. Just how is it that the first amendment is jeopardy? There is no mention of the applicant having a license to publish or broadcast being rejected.

DocCas
December 18, 2009, 09:46 AM
Double Naught Spy saidHe apparently is one to draw some bizarre conclusions. Just how is it that the first amendment is jeopardy? There is no mention of the applicant having a license to publish or broadcast being rejected. He was denied a CCW license because of his written words published on an internet forum. The 1st amendment doesn't mention publish or broadcast licensing, but does make an unequivocal statement concerning the freedom of speech and of a free press. He was discriminated against because of his speech as published on the internet.

Frank Ettin
December 18, 2009, 11:13 AM
...The 1st amendment ...does make an unequivocal statement concerning the freedom of speech and of a free press....Actually, it doesn't. It says, "Congress shall make no law ....abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;...."(emphasis added). It doesn't say that anything you might say will be free of consequences. You may be free to speak, but others are free to either pay attention or not. And others are also free to form opinions about you, your intentions, character, values, or beliefs based on how and what you say.

The core problem is, as others have mentioned, is that in this case the chief of police has discretion. Your intentions, character, values, or beliefs should not be material to his decision. But in a "may issue" state, he has been given power to consider such things. "May issue" should be one of the next things attacked in the courts, assuming that we get a positive ruling on incorporation.

DocCas
December 18, 2009, 02:06 PM
Actually, it does, as your quote clearly says. "...does make an unequivocal statement concerning the freedom of speech and of a free press..." "...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." See? :)

IMHP a 2nd amendment right cannot be infringed by exercising a 1st amendment right.

Cosmoline
December 18, 2009, 02:10 PM
"May issue" is the problem. It was abandoned by most states because of the systemic abuses it permitted LEO's to get away with. Those who did them favors or drew sufficient water in the community would be given permission, those who did not would not.

Frank Ettin
December 18, 2009, 02:18 PM
...IMHP a 2nd amendment right cannot be infringed by exercising a 1st amendment right.... I've no doubt it's your humble opinion. It just doesn't work that way in real life.

gym
December 18, 2009, 03:07 PM
It's like when these young kids go in for a job, out of college, and the employer pulls up their Facebook or My space profile, "which they all do now, if you are going for a good job". And they see the guy or girl drunk in several photo's, half naked, or otherwise compromised. That's the end of the job application. It may not be legal, but it goes to character. No one is going to trust a person who is dumb enough to allow pictures of themselves "that they put up", to have good judgement. I am not saying that the guy did anything like this, but it shows that what may seem innocent at the time, can come back and bite you later for something completely unrelated. Sometimes you need to play the game in order to get where you need to go.

Lou McGopher
December 18, 2009, 06:12 PM
This is why all the information about me on the internet is nothing but complimentary, and completely fabricated.

atomd
December 18, 2009, 07:03 PM
There was a police chief in Carver, MA that denied EVERY SINGLE PERMIT. Yes, really, every one. She finally quit after receiving multiple complaints about her for that and other issues. It just goes to show how much say they have in the matter. They could probably refuse you for just about anything.

Another note: Having a myspace/online blog/facebook page these days gives your information to people who you might not want having your information. I've spoken to an HR person who said she regularly will put someone's name into google and see what comes up and view their information. Think about it...that college pic of you chugging a beer might not be the best thing to have a potential employer see. Remember what happened to that innocent guy after the Virginia Tech shootings? Pictures of him were used on television...showing him as the murderer.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the chief was correct in denying him the permit.

Erik M
December 18, 2009, 07:50 PM
1. Keep it anonymous!

2. If you are some kind of highly public figure that has differing political opinions than the local law enforcement agency or its chief/captain, don't expect them to help you out in any way.


I would be scared out of my mind if i thought the local police had the ability or the intelligence to moniter my forum posts. Good luck getting throught those proxies gentelmen.

cassandrasdaddy
December 18, 2009, 08:22 PM
what were the offending posts? and why if they were/are innocent are they not posted in op?

Full Metal Jacket
December 18, 2009, 09:14 PM
how on earth did this police chief find out about the applicants posts? unless the applicant identified himself to the chief as a member of that forum-no too smart considering how hard permits are to get in that state and they will use any excuse to deny one no matter how lame.

KJS
December 18, 2009, 10:52 PM
inappropriate preoccupation with firearms

They just described the Brady Bunch.

Double Naught Spy
December 19, 2009, 11:46 AM
He was denied a CCW license because of his written words published on an internet forum.

Right, but that does not put his first amendment rights in jeopardy.

IMHP a 2nd amendment right cannot be infringed by exercising a 1st amendment right.

Yeah, it actually can and has in the past. Try exercising your first amendment right to threaten the President of the United States, create child pornography, etc. and see how much trouble your first amendment rights allow you to create for yourself.

Officers'Wife
December 19, 2009, 12:56 PM
IMHP a 2nd amendment right cannot be infringed by exercising a 1st amendment right.

I was taught with rights come responsibilities to exercise those rights in a reasonable manner. I was also taught that Newton applies to social situations as well as physics. My uncle's favorite illustration of the principle went something like this. You have every right to tell a man he is his mother's son and his mother is a dog (edited for content.) You have neither right nor reason to expect him not to knock you on your back. (also edited for content.) Every action has a reaction, it's a fact of life.

Be careful of the words you sling.
Keep them soft and sweet.
For you never know at the end of the day,
Which ones you will have to eat.

Tinpig
December 19, 2009, 01:17 PM
I belong to the NES forum where this all took place. I don't go there often, and don't remember and can't find the posts in question.

It's my understanding from other comments there that this may have been a young poster who made immoderate statements. Not against the law, but ill-advised given the subjective licensing structure here. Apparently it was suggested that he button it up. Apparently he was ratted-out to the Swampscott PD by a forum member, which stinks.

The may-issue situation stinks, also, but until we can change it you can believe that my sons and I tread carefully so as not to jeopardize our carry licenses. In my rural town, treading carefully simply means having a good reputation, a clean record, obeying the law, and staying off the police radar; worthwhile goals for any reason.

No, I do not know the Chief, nor am I connected to anyone at all. I'm just a 65 year-old self-employed carpenter who keeps his head down and minds his own business. I've had a LTC for 44 years, my sons since their 21st birthdays.

I have to say that bitching about the situation accomplishes nothing. I choose to stay in Mass. and fight for gun rights in the state by exercising them, by ownership, voting, and supporting shooting clubs and the legislative efforts of Mass. GOAL.

Tinpig

stevelyn
December 20, 2009, 03:46 AM
To this day, I still cannot undestand how a legislature can write a law that gives the police such discretionary power in these types of matters.

If anything, all the court cases that have come down over the years which affect police procedures should be reason enough to write the laws in such a manner that takes away that discretion.

Elvishead
December 20, 2009, 11:10 AM
I said so, so it's true!

Give it up Internet buddies!

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