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Posted: 7/9/2002 7:19:59 AM EDT
I've had my carry permit for 5 years. In PA the permits must be renewed every 5 years. I Applied to renew my permit and I was denied. The thing is I was not convicted of any crimes in that 5 years or ever for that matter. I got a letter from the police dept (I live in Philly, so permits come from the police dept not the sheriff) stating that I was denied. I was arrested for possesion of a firearm in NJ (more about that below) BEFORE I applied for my carry permit the first time. That charge resulted in me entering a first time offenders program where you do community service and a year probation and at the end of the year of probation your record is wiped clean. Apparently for gun permit backgound check my record is not wiped clean. I never thought anything of it before. I thought my record was clean becuase Philly gave me my permit the first time. Also I have purchased guns since then with no problems with the background checks. PA's law on gun permits forbids people who have been convicted of a crime punishable by more then one year in prison from getting a carry permit. I'm guessing that the gun charge counts as a conviction even though supposedly my record was wiped clean. I was arrested in NJ for having an unloaded, legally owned handgun in the trunk of my car. There were no loaded mags, however was ammo (all fmj). Both the ammo and the gun were in the trunk. What I was doing is perfectly legal in PA and I did not even know I was committing a crime in NJ. However it is a felony in NJ and the charge they charged me with had upto a 2 year jail sentence. Basically what I want to know is, does the gun charge in NJ count as a conviction even though it was wiped from my record ? I now think that it does since I was denied my renewal for my carry permit. For the last 5 years I thought I was in the clear becuase they approved my carry permit the first time and like I said earlier I applied for my permit AFTER the arrest for the gun. If it does count as a conviction then I can never get a carry permit in PA ! Help. This sucks. I would hire a lawyer and seek professional help, but right now I am in college and money is very tight. From my understanding of PA's laws, if that charge counts as a conviction the only way I can ever get a carry permit again in PA is if I can get a pardon from the gov of NJ. Does anyone know anything about getting a pardon ? I would imagine that they are damn near impossible to get, especially for a gun charge. What pisses me off the most is what I was doing was perfectly legal in PA and I hand no idea I was commiting a crime. Now I can't have a carry permit for life becuase of this ?
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 11:39:17 AM EDT
Sounds to me like you got a continget dismissal or continued without finding. You were not convicted, but you were still CHARGED and it may still be an open case in the system. You need to find out the following: 1) What the status of that charge is. Is it listed as dismissed, no finding, or was it supposed to be expunged? The PA UFA defines a conviction as an entry of a guilty or nolo plea even if no judgement is entered. Did you plead guilty or nolo in exchange for the first time offender program? 2) There is probably an appeal process for the permit denial. Find out what that is and get the ball rolling. Might be a good idea to hire a lawyer if the appeal involves a hearing before a judge (which it might). Shouldn't cost too much.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 1:23:08 PM EDT
I believe that the deal was I had to plead guilty in exchange for enterence into the program. It has been 5 years so I don't remember offhand. Section 6109 of the Pennsylvania code paragraph (e) lists who shall not be issued a license. This quote is taken from part 1 viii "An individual who is charged with or has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year..." After looking at this I don't see how there could be any appeal process.
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 2:29:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/9/2002 2:31:22 PM EDT by rocko]
I'd see a lawyer ASAP. AFAIK, PA follows the same criteria for CCW as it does for firearms ownership. If you can't get a CCW, it may be that you can't legally own a firearm as well, despite passing the PICS/NICS. This of course could potentially get you into trouble if they decide to do some followup. Since you are renewing and not applying, they will only logically assume that you own firearms as well, and Philly ain't exactly a haven for gun rights. PICS records are kept indefinitely, so they can tell (presumably pretty easily) if you've made any firearms purchases from an FFL. The piece you quoted pretty much reads verbatim from the 4473: b. Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year? c. Have you been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation? Only exception mentioned here for (c.) is a state misdemeanor that is punishable by only two years or less. However, you mentioned felony, so that seemingly doesn't apply here. I'm no lawyer, but I agree with dbrowne1. It seems like either your case is still open, they screwed up, or you misunderstood the terms of the deal. Either way, it could technically be illegal for you to have access to a firearm right now. I'd "gift" either your parents or children with all your firearms now (only way to quietly get rid of a handgun here - no private transfers of them except parent<->child) until you can talk to a lawyer and get this straightened out. Rocko
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 3:02:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ar-nut: I believe that the deal was I had to plead guilty in exchange for enterence into the program. It has been 5 years so I don't remember offhand. After looking at this I don't see how there could be any appeal process.
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If you plead guilty you may be SOL. There is no provision for appeal, but I'd be surprised if you couldn't take the Sheriff to court. But don't do that until you know you're entitled to the permit. Figure out what exactly happened procedurally with that charge in NJ. PA claims to be a shall-issue state, but that law looks to me like it's got a LOT of discretion in it. It makes you prove that you're of "good moral character" and that you're not dangerous, unlike other states that just say "if you have not been convicted of X, Y, or Z, then the permit SHALL issue."
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 3:10:21 PM EDT
Rocko, I misspoke, I don't know for sure if what I was charged with is a felony in NJ. What I do know is it is a crime of the third degree. Know that I think back I remember asking if it was a felony or not and I never did get a straight answer. My lawyer as well as the cops that locked me up just kept saying that it is a crime of the third degree. I did some searching online but I can't find out what a crime of the third degree is. Any ideas on where to start looking to find out exactly what happened with that charge ?
Link Posted: 7/9/2002 5:42:13 PM EDT
Look here: http://www.njsp.org/about/serv_chrc.html I looked at the NJ criminal code, and a crime of the third degree is in some parts equivalent to a "high misdemeanor" (like a class 1 misdemeanor in VA or NC) but it is punishable by 3-5 years...which could be a problem for you. You need to talk to a lawyer if you're serious about getting the license.
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 6:25:56 PM EDT
You really need to get a certified copy of the original disposition and a copy of the criminal history file to sort the whole thing out. If the conviction was vacated as you stated it should be a fairly simple procedure to have the criminal history file corrected. You may also have to petition the court to have an order issued to have the original PD request that the FBI return your records to the agency. Contact the following law firm. I'm sure they can advise you on how to proceed. [url]http://www.evannappen.com/door/[/url]
Link Posted: 7/10/2002 9:07:10 PM EDT
I didn't know it was against the law in NJ to transport a legally owned weapon in the trunk of your car... Exactly how the hell ar you supposed to attend a shoot ??? Not to flame you ar-nut, but this sounds a bit "fishy" to me... The treatment you got sounds appropriate if you were carrying a loaded gun in the glovebox or console while in NJ... An unloaded gun in the trunk doesn't sound to me like a big deal, even in NJ... Were you busted for something more serious and plead guilty on the lesser gun charge ? If you were given a carry permit right after this gun incident, it's likely you only got it because your NJ problems weren't "in the system" yet... Like I said, I'm not trying to flame you, but things here don't add-up... If I'm wrong, you have my apologies... Maybe you could try applying in another county outside of Philly ???
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 2:27:45 AM EDT
I think NJ may require both the ammo and the gun to be locked up separately. PA doesn't require the gun to be in a locked case if it is in the trunk, not accessible from the inside of the vehicle... Rocko
Link Posted: 7/11/2002 9:38:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/11/2002 9:41:45 AM EDT by ar-nut]
Originally Posted By Dragracer_Art: I didn't know it was against the law in NJ to transport a legally owned weapon in the trunk of your car...
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It was like a catch 22 situation. The cops said the gun wasn't registered. I said well in PA we don't have to register our handguns.
Exactly how the hell ar you supposed to attend a shoot ??? Not to flame you ar-nut, but this sounds a bit "fishy" to me... The treatment you got sounds appropriate if you were carrying a loaded gun in the glovebox or console while in NJ... An unloaded gun in the trunk doesn't sound to me like a big deal, even in NJ... Were you busted for something more serious and plead guilty on the lesser gun charge ?
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I was not busted for anything other then the gun. My car was totally legal. I was not wanted for anything. I was not on probation. I was not awaiting trial for anything. I had no criminal record whatsoever. Everytime I tell this story everyone thinks there is more to it. Well there isn't. NJ just stuck it up my ass.
If you were given a carry permit right after this gun incident, it's likely you only got it because your NJ problems weren't "in the system" yet...
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That is exactly what I know think happened. For the past 5 years I had been thinking that they really did wipe my record clean becuase I suspected Philly would of revoked my carry permit once I was in the system. But apparently they only check when you apply.
Like I said, I'm not trying to flame you, but things here don't add-up... If I'm wrong, you have my apologies... Maybe you could try applying in another county outside of Philly ???
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In PA you can only apply in the county you live in. Edited becuase I fucked up the quotes
Link Posted: 7/16/2002 1:17:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/16/2002 1:20:29 PM EDT by ar-nut]
rkbar15, thanks for the link to Evan Nappen. Does anyone know if this guy is any good or did you just recommend him based on his website ? I just got off the phone with him and he says the thing to do is get an expungment. I am eligible for an expungment. He said that from the original case it is not considered a conviction. An expungment would erase all records that I was ever even arrested. He charges $1100 for an expungment. Something about this don't feel right here. I mean when this shit originally went down with my first lawyer 5 years ago he said that the ptd program would leave me with no record. I paid that asshole $2500 when all he had to do was use the gun owner's protection act of 1986 as a defense and I could of walked. Now I got another lawyer saying give me $1100 for an expungment. Now after this expungment am I still gonna have a problem getting my carry permit back ? Evan won't give me any garrantie that I'll get my permit after this expungment. I want to pay him and have the expungment done, but if I'm just pissing away another $1100 on a lawyer I'll be even more pissed. All this fucking shit for a [size=6] legally owned, unloaded gun [/size=6] in my fucking [size=6] trunk [/size=6].
Link Posted: 7/16/2002 4:12:39 PM EDT
I don't have any personal knowledge of Nappan. He has been mentioned many times as being very knowledgeable with respect to NJ firearms law. I really think the attorney who handled the original case did you a disservice. Was he a criminal attorney experienced with firearms related law? Is he still around? Try and get a copy of your file if he is. Any of the legwork you do yourself may lower the fee that an attorney will charge you. E-mail Steve-in-Va. He may be able to advise you how to proceed and he will not steer you wrong. With a little help you may be able to file the papers yourself. Good luck, and let s know how you made out.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 10:58:10 AM EDT
ar-nut: I sent you a response to your IM- good luck! Also, easy on the foul language next time (re above). Steve
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 11:48:22 AM EDT
Steve the wording and intent of the law is to allow legal transport of firearms through every state in the U.S. Is it just a defense to a prosecution or should the non-compliant states comply with the law in the first place. I understand that states can enact more restrictive legislation for residents but this is different. Do I need an opinion letter from the attorney general in states like NJ to protect myself when legally passing through?
Link Posted: 8/6/2002 8:42:01 AM EDT
Two fridays ago I contacted Mr Nappen about doing the expungement for me. After talking to him on the phone for about 10 minutes I was about to hire him. Then the phone went dead. I don't know if he accidently hung up on me or what but when I called him back I got his answering service ! It was about 5pm but what the hell if your phone conversation gets cut off you just say the hell with it and leave ? I called 3 more times and I got a answering machine. I then emailed Nappen asking him when is a good time for me to call him so we can do business and the fucker never emails me back. What kind of way is this to run a business ? Anyway now I'm back to just blindly calling lawyers from the phone book. I hate doing this becuase I know nothing about these people. I spoke with one lawyer's secretary on friday and he emailed me today. I actually spoke with him on the phone (will wonders never cease) and it looks like I'm gonna hire this guy. He charges $1000 so he is $100 cheaper then Nappen anyway. And at least this guy is competent enough to send an email.
Link Posted: 8/6/2002 1:31:42 PM EDT
Hello Ar-nut Expungements work. I had one. It erases your record as if it never happened. You no longer have to say that you were arrested. And make sure your attorney sends out anouncements to all local, state and federal agencies that have relevence to your firearm file to send them a copy of the expungement. Remember, it is illegal for any agency to release information about your past when they have been advised of your expungement. 1000 buck is ok...you might have to appear in court one time with the attorney. Mine did it without me ever being present. He petioned the court for my expungement. It will take approx. 3 months for agencies to get info. Please send a copy of expungement to Harrisburgh...firearms division EXPUNGEMENT MEANS EVERYTHING....do NOT delay....
Link Posted: 8/6/2002 3:45:07 PM EDT
I can't (and won't) defend his failure to return your calls or emails, however the dropping of the phone call is probably not his fault. Many people that utilize answering services have a predetermined time that the phone number is automatically switched from the office phone to the service's phone. This is usually done by the phone company programming the telephone switch at the main office to forward the phone number to the answering service. Many times when this occurs, any call that may be in progress is dropped. In the situation you described, that is what it sounded like. Like I said, not an excuse for failing to return calls and email, but the dropping of the phone call was probably not his fault.
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