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Carry permit timeframe ques.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Centurian22, Oct 11, 2012.

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  1. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    So I have a question. In Maine the law states:

    Permit Issued Timeline:
    A permit shall be issued within 30 days for a resident of 5 or more years, otherwise it shall be issued within 60 days.

    Source: http://www.usacarry.com/maine_concealed_carry_permit_information.html

    I am a resident applying for the first time so I fall under the 30days. However, my local PD where I applied said they are getting backed up on applications and it may take 5-6 weeks before I hear back. As I have waited this long (speaking of years in my life) and I would be away at work for four of those weeks I did not press the issue but was nonetheless curious. Could I have used the very law book they provided me to push this issue? Does anyone think it would do any good? Or would it more likely have just put me on their "this guy is a PITA so 'accidentally lose his application'" list?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Keep records of everything, who you talked to and precisely what they said and when they said it. You may need to file a case with the state attorney general because getting "backed up" is no excuse for violating the law. Do you think your local PD would give you a break on your vehicle inspection because you got "backed up" and couldn't renew it for another 5-6 weeks?

    Here in Virginia I had some "fun" back in 2006 when I had to stand pretty firm on my rights as detailed here.
     
  3. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    I unfortunately did not make note of the person's name who I dealt with, I may luck out and an 'Agent number' or other form of identifying information may be on the receipt. I know I applied no later than Sept 28th, which puts the 30 day deadline on Oct 28th. I won't be home until Nov 1st which gives them a few day grace period. I hope it will process smoothly but it's nice to know that being polite but assertive and displaying the law gave you positive results. Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. bvonries85

    bvonries85 Member

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    Does your state law address this issue. Here in Nebraska the State Patrol was behind on processing applications for quite awhile, but our law specifies that at the end of the allowed time period (I think its 45 days, but I'd have to look it up to be sure) they have to issue the permit even if they're not done processing the application. In that case they can revoke the permit later if an issue comes up in the background check. People who weren't aware of that part of the law were waiting several extra weeks for permits, but I know several people that called on the last day and asked to pick up the permit in person later that day.
     
  5. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    You can complain, but it won't do you any good at all. The primary problem, as I understand it, is that the law requires issuing authorities to obtain any records related to the applicant from the State's two mental hospitals, and the hospitals are not prompt about responding to such requests. The issuing authorities cannot issue the permit without the hospital's response, nor do they have any ability to compel the hospitals to respond more quickly than they do.

    While the law does set a time limit for issuance, it does not provide for any relief for applicants whose permits are not issued within the allotted time.

    The Attorney General is not about to take legal action against the State of Maine; it's his duty to defend the State of Maine, not attack it.

    I suppose its possible to try to obtain a writ or mandamus or some such thing to compel the issuing authority to issue or deny within the statutory timeframe, but you'd have to pay your own attorney. By the time you prevail, the permit would have been issued anyway. And if somehow your case flew through the system at warp speed, I suspect the issuing authority would simply deny you the permit, on the grounds that they have not yet been able to verify your eligibility due to the incomplete background check.

    Permits issued by the State Police have been running about 90 days, last I heard. If yours is issued by a town, that timeframe might be a little less.
     
  6. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    Well, NOT complaining ensures that nothing will change so the OP should at least make the effort.

    And it has been my personal experience (at least in Virginia) that when you notify the SAG office of an issue like this there tends to be a response because they don't want the publicity on a currently HOT social issue. Then again we have the VCDL in Virginia so when people here talk lawsuit to force compliance we're not kidding and the SAG office knows it.

    I don't know about the law in Maine, but in Virginia the law is clear that if there is no evidence to DENY a permit, then one must be issued. That's part of what "shall issue" means.

    Sounds like the folks in Maine need to start making some noise.
     
  7. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    Complaining to the issuing authority, whose hands are tied, is useless. Complain to your state legislators to make the time limit meaningful.

    It's been my personal experience that the AGs office simply forwards such inquiries to the State Police for handling, and you end up right back where you started. The law has no teeth; there is no defined recourse or remedy. The issuing authorities are almost certainly acting as they do based on the AGs advice, anyway; they have no choice but to violate the law, so they are doing so in the least objectionable manner possible.

    The issuing authorities really are processing the permits as fast as they can, within what the law requires them to do. They have a choice of which part of the law to break: the part that requires them to verify that the applicant has no disqualifications for issuance of a permit, or the part that requires them to issue or deny within 30/60 days. They have no ability to compel other entities, like the mental hospitals, to provide them with records quickly enough to meet the statutory time limit. The only way that they can obey all of the law would be to deny, on the 30th/60th day, any permit application for which the background check has not been completed. This, needless to say, would not be in the best interest of the people of Maine. So they blow the deadline, because they have no choice. And a few weeks later, the applicant gets his new permit.

    I do. They law only requires that the issuing authority issue or deny within 30 or 60 days, depending on the length of residency of the applicant. As I said, the law doesn't go any further in specifying what happens if that timeframe is exceeded; there is no provision that a permit must be issued unless it is denied for cause within 30/60 days. At best, you might be able to get a court to order the authority to issue a permit, but that will certainly take longer than simply waiting for the authority to issue the permit normally.

    This is not an ideal state of affairs, obviously. It would be nice if the time limit written into law was respected. It would be even nicer if the law provided issuance-by-default if the limit is exceeded. But the only way these things can happen is through legislation, not railing at the issuing authority who is bound by current law.

    On the other hand, the very existence of the permit issuance bottleneck is a measure of the increasing demand for carry permits in Maine, and this is a Good Thing, even if the issuance infrastructure is lagging some.
     
  8. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

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    Maine is Maine, and Virginia is Virginia. Why would your personal experience with the Virginia AG's office be relevant to Maine?

    But since the question involves Maine, what possible relevance could Virginia law have?
     
  9. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    We don't have much of a problem here in WA as everything is electronic based..Maine may have the same, that way the MH question timing response would be moot, someone just didn't do the data entry.

    However, we do have some Sheriff's departments that drag their feet and intentially take the whole 30 days. Then we also have departments that will issue same day as application. My county takes 1 day to process and 1 day in the mail. There is a requirement here to have the needed information available online (RCW 9.41.070) Does ME have equinilent?

    That said, I do believe that in the past there have been criminal complaints made against the footdragers...it seems to help. Even if the MH review is the problem, an official complaint may fix that too.
     
  10. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    I don't believe the issuing authorities have electronic access to MH data. They mail a paper authorization for release of information, signed by the applicant, to each hospital. I'm fairly sure the information comes back to them in the mail, on paper.

    There is only a requirement that it be made available, but not in what form or by what means.

    Criminal complaints??? Does Washington make it a criminal offense for officials to exceed the statutory time limit? What's the penalty? And if they are merely taking the full 30 days allowed, which would presumably completely lawful, where is the crime?
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  11. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Despite the back and forth arguing, I appreciate all of the Relevent input that has been given, Including that from other states as my question was not only about the specifics of the law but experiences of interactions between applicants and issuing authorities.
     
  12. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    They will issue your permit with no fuss and no muss, assuming you don't have any of the disqualifiers listed in the law. They'll be a little late, and they'll probably apologize for it.

    What town are you applying in? It doesn't sound like you're going through the State Police.
     
  13. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Applied in Bangor.
     
  14. Downeast

    Downeast Member

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    Good luck getting it in 30 days, took almost 90 days for mine. I had to go through state police (town to small for it's own police force).

    Legally, I don't think the state is required to meet 30 day requirement. It states right on the application, "approximately thirty days" but right now there is a backlog and they are behind.
     
  15. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    Oh, there's no question that the law requires a permit be issued within 30/60 days. It's right there in 25 MRSA 2003(12):

    But as you can see, although the statute sets a time limit, it doesn't prescribe any consequences for the issuing authority's failure to act within the allotted time, at least in the case of a new permit. Renewals which take longer than the allotted time, the expiring permit is extended until the authority acts.
     
  16. Warp

    Warp Member

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    Are you seriously expecting the government to follow the law?

    lol

    Good luck with that.
     
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Member

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    Class "A" misdemeanor
     
  18. Birch Knoll

    Birch Knoll Member

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    Hmm. I'm not seeing that in RCW 9.41.070, which deals with concealed pistol licensing. Do you know where in statute this misdemeanor is established?
     
  19. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    An update for anyone still following this thread: Right on time, just within 30 days I have received the phone call that my and my wife's applications for our CWP's were approved and our permits are ready to be picked up.

    Very glad it all worked out as it should have. Thank you again for the input.
     
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