A sensitive question about CCW application.


February 9, 2004, 10:56 PM

I have a rather delicate question about the application for concealed carry. I changed my name 25 years ago (just my last name, to my mother's side of the family). I was voluntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for a period of time following my journey through the 1960s (too much recreational "enhancement") under my former name. I'm now debating whether or not to indicate my name change and my stay in the psychiatric facility on my application for a concealed carry permit. I recently purchased a handgun and did not indicate either of those things on my background check application. I probably should have, but just figured it wasn't any of their business at the time, and both events were so long ago (30 years in the case of the psychiatric facility) that I just didn't feel like going through the hassle.

So, what should I do. My name is legally changed and although the concealed carry form says to include a list of prior names I've used I'm sort of reluctant to set that ball rolling, especially since I neglected to put that information on my background check form. I noticed that the concealed carry form doesn't really ask about voluntary commitment as long as it was longer than 5 years ago.

I feel I probably ought to include the name change, even though that may open a can of worms I'd rather forget, because in the event that I use a weapon for self defense that stuff may come out. I should say that I'm not 100% certain that I wasn't declared incompetent at the time of my hospitalization. I went through some sort of court hearing, or official board hearing, that may have had a judge. I vaguely recall contacting the facility some years afterward asking them to declare me legally competent, and seem to recall that they told me I had not been declared incompetent and that the record was expunged after six years anyway. I asked my mother what she remembered about it, and she didn't think I had been declared mentally incapacitated or incompetent either, but I'm not sure what that court proceeding was. It may have simply been to intimidate me into voluntary commitment, which worked.

So, again, how extensive are there background checks that are done. Should I indicate the name change and just blow off all the mental health questions? I'm all better now, btw. I'm sort of inclined to do that, even though it makes me a bit nervous (mostly because I didn't mention this stuff on the background documents). What would you do in a similar situation?

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Mike Irwin
February 9, 2004, 11:35 PM
The fact that you changed your name will probably show up.

The fact that you did a voluntary committal nearly 30 years ago is, quite frankly, a complete non sequitor as far as I can tell under Virginia law.

Everything I've read indicates that you might only have a problem if it was within the last 5 years.

Given the information on the purchase form, however, I simply don't know what the repercussions might be.

Mike Irwin
February 9, 2004, 11:38 PM
Whoa, wait a second.

I just found the link for the CCW form for Virginia, and nowhere on it can I find anything asking for information on VOLUNTARY committals.

If that's the case, then I'd say that you don't need to put anything on the form, because a voluntary committal doesn't meet the criteria.

Andrew Rothman
February 9, 2004, 11:40 PM
I Am Not A Lawyer, but isn't lying on the purchase form a federal offense?

I would consult an actual lawyer before doing ANYTHING else. Staying out of jail is good.

Andrew Rothman
February 9, 2004, 11:43 PM
Furthermore, mightn't any of us advising him to forget it be construed as conspiracy to commit a crime?

No offense, but this is a brand new user, whose last name might actually be "Schmuckatelli."

February 9, 2004, 11:43 PM
Fill the form out honestly. Like you said, if it does come out later, it could have a negative impact. Since it does not ask about voluntarily committing yourself, don't bring it up. The odds of a record of your time in a psychiatric facility 30 years ago being entered into a computer and showing up are about zip.

I don't know how your state handles the background check on firearm purchases, but in Florida, there is no way a firearm purchase would show up simply by them running your name through the system. The state is not allowed to keep information provided on approved background checks and there is no way for them to check with every FFL in the state to see if you purchased a handgun and lied or omitted information on the form.

a federal offense?
Only on the 4473. Lying on a state background check isn't a federal offense.

February 9, 2004, 11:47 PM
Our forms just Ask were you ever commited or judge..um someword here ... by the courts .. Nothing about checking yourself in.

But as posted fill the form out honestly or look on your states web site and see if they explain that question better

February 9, 2004, 11:50 PM
or judge..um someword here
adjudicated. :)

February 9, 2004, 11:53 PM
Thx that the word

February 10, 2004, 12:22 AM
I should have said "yes" to the name change on the Federal form, although it's not something that would have disqualified me. I just don't like to acknowledge the name change. It makes me uncomfortable, but from now on it's not something I'll shirk.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. Don't suppose they'd give me a "do-over" on that background check form? I fear it's bound to come out when I run for President. Everything does. I wonder how many women check that some box, not wanting to acknowledge a former husband?

February 10, 2004, 12:38 AM
Don't suppose they'd give me a "do-over" on that background check form?

"I'm sorry, Your Honor, I forgot."

February 10, 2004, 01:48 AM
FWIW, I have a bud who's had somewhat of a colored history way back in his past & fessed up cpmpletely when applying for a CO CCW/El Paso county.

Sailed straight on through & received his just lke anyone else.

Depts told him that if they'd come across this info (likely pretty-well buried - 'other state/juvenile, etc.) w/o his "confession," they'd've denied him for lying.

Being straight up has its advantages.

Ala Dan
February 10, 2004, 04:22 AM
Greeting's All-

first, I'm not an attorney; nor do I play one on TV- :(
but, I would be very careful about knowlingly and
willfully omitting sensitive data on a governmental form!
I think that would be considered "lying, or giving false
information"; if such document is completed, and
signed (by you) to be true and correct.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

February 10, 2004, 07:55 AM
Dan nailed it. I'd suggest simply listing your birth name and, if asked about the change, say "personal reasons" and let it go. I doubt they'll challenge you, unless, while in your less-sober state, you committed offenses you no longer remember. A lawyer is prolly a good idea...

TFL Survivor

February 10, 2004, 10:54 AM
a federal offense?

Only on the 4473. Lying on a state background check isn't a federal offense.

I checked the federal form rather carefully, and it appears that there is no question about name changes, etc. So I must have been mistaken. That must have been on a state form somewhere. Whew!

February 10, 2004, 11:00 AM
fix<10 foot pole>| snowball

Sorry. I can't seem to reach you. :D

February 10, 2004, 11:27 AM
I did a legal name change (personal reasons) about 20 years ago, and have always listed it (and included a copy of the document) when asked. Since my DD214 has the old name, it explains the difference. If there is no required-to-report (or desirable) info under your old name I see no reason why you should report it. A background check will run SS# and driver's license #, so if those haven't changed any info will come up.

On the rare occasions when I didn't list "Other Names Used" and it came up, I've always said, "oh, sorry, I thought that meant other names I'm using NOW or recently, and there aren't any." Never been a problem.

I have an uncle who has always used the same name - but it's not the name on his birth certificate: his parents had "agreed" on a first name, the one he's always used, but Dad filled out the forms with a family "heirloom" name he wanted (crafty old buzzard :evil: ) and my uncle never knew it until he joined the Army Air Corps in 1944 and the difference came out. :scrutiny: :eek:

In most states, whatever name you use IS your legal name - in CA you don't actually HAVE to file a court name change, but it does help in situations like the above, where a document (DD214, etc.) lists something different than what you use normally.

Standing Wolf
February 10, 2004, 06:34 PM
I recommend leaving dishonesty to the leftist extremists.

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