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Surprises when asking for Character References...

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Stover954rr, Sep 24, 2007.

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  1. Stover954rr

    Stover954rr Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Hey Guys and Girls,
    I have finally gotten around to putting my hand gun application in for NY. For those of you who don't know (not many I am sure), in NY you need 4 character references that will be checked as part of the application process. As I went about to do this, I was absolutely SHOCKED by the reaction I was getting.

    I am talking about people I have know my whole life turning me down, simply because they do not believe in the ownership of hand guns. I have received a number of responses such as "Russell, if I thought that anyone could be trusted/responsible with a hand gun it would be you, unfortunately I do not believe in them and thus can not justify supporting anyone with owning one." or the very popular, "what do you need one of them for?"

    My general take on this is that people don't understand what a character reference is. I had one of my good friends say yes, and then call me back 10 minutes later because his wife told him not to get involved because "who knows what legalities there are if something went wrong in the future"!

    As mentioned earlier what got me the most was WHO was saying these things, my best friend almost denied me. This is one of the craziest people I know, he owns an arsenal of weapons and builds his own explosives! Yet he doesn't believe in handguns!

    I can't understand why everyone views handguns as such a threat!

    I should also mention that I consider myself a pretty respectable person who has no criminal record and doesn't get into trouble. I have a masters degree and am a productive member of society. To the best of my knowledge these reactions are not based on my personal character.

    I was wondering if anyone else had faced similar situations when seeking references.


  2. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Ava, Missouri
    Hey Russell...Change your vote from Ron Paul to one of the other candidates and I'll vouch for you...

    Don't have that problem here in Missouri...

    Looks like you need to go to a gun range and make new (real) friends. That's the best suggestion I can give you besides changing your laws...Which are unconstitutional to begin with...
  3. Thefabulousfink

    Thefabulousfink Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Spokane, WA
    Wow Russell, I am terribly sorry that those are the type of friends you have. It's your life and they are your friends, but if it were me, I'd remember this and move their names from the "friends" list to the "known acquaintances" list. True friend support each other when they need it. Explain to your friends (if you haven't already) that this is important to you and ask them if their concern over handguns is enough to deny your friendship?

    I am pretty strongly against the idea of giving away all your stuff and living as a beggar, but if a friend of mine decided that was what he wanted to do (and I couldn't talk him out of it) then I would support them.

    You don't have to agree with some one's decision to be a good friend and support them in it.
  4. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    Make "friends" at a gun range. They'll vouch for you. It's basically like European gun laws. Belong to a "gun club" and you can own what you want. IE, meet 4 people at the gun range, turn them into your buddies, viola, 4 references.

    And that's another reason for the references; NYS knows that eventually people will say, "no" for that reason- paranoia.
  5. fast200

    fast200 Member

    Mar 10, 2007

    Personally, I wouldn't vouch for you either if you support Ron Paul. That guy is a fruit cake. ;)
  6. Stover954rr

    Stover954rr Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Hey guys,
    Yeah, I tried not to take it personally at first, but how could you not! I did get the four references and eventually my 3 closest friends agreed to it. (the forth was a long time friend of mine and ex-boss who really taught me a lot about firearms and shooting)

    The issue I have, is that I don't really belong to a gun club. My girlfriend owns a ton of land (I pretty much have a 1,000 yard range) way upstate. I had a ton of people who I shoot and hunt with there who would easily vouch for me. The issue is that with NY your references need to live in your county! And I am still a resident down here :(

    As for Ron Paul.... I am making the thread in general discussion now ;)
  7. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Central Florida
    You're surprised?
    I'm not. This is the one requirement that I knew I couldn't fulfill when I lived in NY. They're all trained from birth to be sheep.

  8. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    Well... I don't know about this. I wouldn't support a friend in something that I strongly felt to be destructive to him. I would NEVER support a friend in a suicide, for example... because I AM a friend.

    This is the kind of thing that these misguided liberal friends may be wrestling with. Perhaps they love you and care deeply, but feel 'certain' that owning a handgun is serious trouble.

    My own Mother felt this way... she actually shed tears when I bought my first handgun at age 22. "If you have a gun, you're just LOOKING for trouble!"


    These folks are as wrong as it's possible to be... but I don't doubt for a moment their affection or friendship. I'm just suggesting you look at their side of this...

    Now, the deeper question arises... does it make sense to be close friends with folks who disagree with you so deeply on things that you and I consider to be fundamental rights? I didn't choose my Mother, but I sure do choose my friends.

    Just some thoughts for your consideration.
  9. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    The problem is that they don't trust themselves to own a handgun.

    Therefore, its not possible for them to trust you.
  10. mcooper

    mcooper Member

    Aug 29, 2004
    Does the person have to be from NY?
    Does the person really have to know you in person?

    I bet 4 THRer's would vouch for ya.
  11. earplug

    earplug Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    Colorado Springs
    Pm me and I will vouch for you.
    Its not the goverment we love. Its the citizens.
  12. armoredman

    armoredman Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    References? We don' need no steeeking references!
  13. Arcli9ht

    Arcli9ht Member

    Feb 8, 2003
    The references have to have known you for 5 years, and must live in the county of issue.

    I know this because I got permission from the sheriff to have people from my old county vouch for me since I had just moved up here.

    Only one person turned me down, and that was because his wife yelled at him about it, so he gave me the line "i couldnt live with myself if something bad happened because i signed it."

    I got two veterans, the head of the local boy scouts and the liason between the civic association and the NYPD to all give me references. (read as good citizens)

    11 days later I had my unrestricted permit. My girlfriend finally turned 21, so hers is in processing now.
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    It's a NY thing and other bastions of Liberalism, I'm not surprised at all. I lived in NY City for the first 48 years of my life and was finally able to get out 3 years ago. They are all brainwashed into thinking the Police can protect them and nobody else has a reason to own or carry a firearm. Of course they are dead wrong, just ask the students, teachers and parents of the children killed in VA Tech. Are you really surprised? I don't think you're surprised, I think you are upset but not surprised.
  15. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Colorado Springs
    I'm glad I've never lived anyplace where I had to get references to buy a gun ... if I got the kind of responses you got from so-called friends (and family?) each of those people would be told to never speak to me again. Period. Even if one was my mother.

    But I'm an a-hole :p
  16. paul105

    paul105 Member

    Dec 7, 2003
    I live in Montana. You have to provide three character references on your CWP application. I asked three women from work (the only three I asked) and all three, without hesitation, said yes. In fact one of them expressed interest in getting a permit of her own.


  17. GaryM

    GaryM Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    Years back when they were discussing character references for CCW permits here in missouri the local gunshop had decided that if it went that way they would simply put a bulletin board where you could pin up your application and anyone who wanted coudl sign it.
    Tahnk god it didn't go that way but if it had mine would have been up there.
  18. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
    Man alive!! Big blue cities that drag the rest of their state in to the big blue collumn are closer to Mars than the soul of the America I fell in love with and once served to defend.

    Whatever happened to the TOLERANCE thing that the libs are always spouting off about. They're the most blatantly intolerant sad excuses for human beings imaginable.

    Sorry to say it, but you need a new place to live and some new friends.

    In fact....I think you just found out who is and is not your friend.

    You asked them to vouch for your character, not to endorse you politics.

    I'd take it personally.


    I'd make a careful mental note of who I could trust and count on in the future.

    Not to rub it in....but rather to demonstrate that what you experienced is not the way it has to be....I yelled over the cubicle wall at work and got two references, and then walked 10 yds down the hall to our personal managers office and got my third.

    My pastor is an avid hunter and sportsman and after hearing that I got my permit from another brother at the range, he teased me that I had been made at church and that all the ladies were talking about it.....but then seriously confided in me the names of 5 men who regularly carry at Sunday services. My name is on the list now as well. Knowing who you can trust and who's capable of covering your back is really, really important.

    I'm SOOO happy to live in a corner of the country where people still have brains.
  19. FerFAL

    FerFAL Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Hey Russell...seems as if you need better friends.

  20. eric.cartman

    eric.cartman Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    Do you by any chance have a Masters in Computer Science?
    Wanna move to FL?
  21. Hawk

    Hawk Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Grand Prairie, TX
    Yup - just wasn't worth it.

    Never applied in Clinton, got worn down in Monroe county.
    IIRC, Monroe had restrictions on how long you were personally known to someone, whether they could be related, from out of County, yadda yadda.

    Would have been just as easy getting Josh Sugarman to sign off on one.

    Your observations regarding confusion are accurate. References seem to think that knowledge of your character is only they beginning. They have to also believe handguns are nice, you having one is desirable and that they're liable if you go bugnuts. It's only a character reference, you're not asking them to change their religion fercryinoutloud.
  22. birddog

    birddog Member

    Oct 2, 2003
    Western NY state
    Umm, no we're not. :rolleyes: God, I hate those blanket statements about a state that is 400 miles wide and contains some of the most rural and conservative residents that you could possibly imagine.

    Anyway, what I did was to have each of my references BE a Pistol Permit holder. In some cases, I rejected using good friends, instead using acquaintances on the simple fact that anyone holding a NYS Pistol Permit would NOT give me the kind of grief you are experiencing. Good luck. I found the whole permit process fairly painless, if somewhat time-consuming.
  23. dav

    dav Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    San Diego, PRK
    California has the 3 character references requirement. Must be in same county, not related to you, and have known you 5 years.

    Since I would be turned down in San Diego anyway, I've never bothered paying the $200 just to be rejected.

    So I've never found out if anyone here would give me a hard time about providing references. Although ALL of the guys helping do range cleanups on forest service land each year have offered!
  24. gp911

    gp911 Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    The "I just don't believe in them" argument always leaves me scratching my head. I always want to reply with "I can assure you, handguns do exist"...

    There is no reasoning with someone whose thought process is illogical and borne out of fear of what they know nothing about.

    I'm glad you got your references anyway.

  25. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    This is for carry permits, not purchase permits. If I’m not mistaken, it’s also not a lawful requirement but something many permitting agencies add to the application process. Nevertheless, it raises an interesting point.

    I haven’t applied for a permit yet, but if and when I do, I wonder how difficult it will be for me to get friends or acquaintances to vouch for me when firearms are involved. If I have to go through dozens of people to get the necessary references, wouldn’t that defeat the concealed requirement?

    ~G. Fink
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