“May Issue”=”No Issue”

Thirdpower has a story of an Illinois gun owner being refused fingerprinting to get an Arizona Carry Permit.

This is the real face of “May Issue” carry laws. They are flawed at the core. When I moved to Mass to Medford I was refused a non-restricted permit (read Carry permit, for those in free states) because “The Chief doesn’t issue those”. I never met with the Chief while I lived there, and no information was requested of me outside my fingerprints, and my Mass LTC application form. This is not unique to me, as at the time NOBODY had been issued a permit without a restriction (Most commonly “Target and Hunting Only”, or “Employment Purposes Only” if they could get a note from their employer). From what I gathered, Belmont Mass was the same way, but they WOULD issue unrestricted permits possibly on re-issue. No word if issuing a Belmont permit after my Medford permit expired would count as first-issue or re-issue. There are towns that do both.

My current town also didn’t seem to care much about who I was, as they don’t bother issuing restricted permits. My town is essentially “Shall Issue”.

So really “May Issue” means “No issue” unless it means “Shall Issue”. The anti-rights cultists often talk about character references, or Chiefs using their judgment on individual cases. Really that’s impossible in all but the smallest of towns. How can the Chief get to know in any meaningful way all applicants that submit paperwork? Also let’s for a second take a hypothetical situation. Mr. Sam Smith of Town X applies for a permit. Mr. Smith has no criminal record that would disqualify him from owning a gun, but the Chief judges him unfit for a permit. Tell me how the police could defend that in a court challenge?

“May Issue” is just a backhanded way to issue blanket denials of permits for all residents of a town or state. If you DO get a permit in a “May Issue” state or town its simply because the powers that be there simply treat the law as “Shall Issue”.

Can anybody give me an argument why “May Issue” shouldn’t be an illegal practice?

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0 Responses to “May Issue”=”No Issue”

  1. Bob S. says:

    I live in the 50th largest city in America — 365,000 people in it.
    I know a few police officers of this city – I think 3. 2 in another city.

    I’ve had over the years of living in Arlington; interaction with less then half a dozen of the officers who work in the city.

    I have never might the police chief nor does anyone I’ve talked to know the police chief.

    So, how in the world can any of them know my character?

    • Weerd Beard says:

      Even if they did, what could they do with that information? They can’t lock you up, or even detain you because of your character alone, nor can they deny you freedom of association, or even search your person. That requires probable cause.

      “May Issue” is an artifact of the illegal activity of treating the second amendment as a privilege, not a right.

  2. BigHayden says:

    I live in NJ and we’ve been a “May Issue” state for years. There are 8,000,000 people in NJ and only 1,000 active carry permits, with most of them being issued to armored car personnel and private security guards. So we have 0.01% of the population carrying legally, and most (if not all) are restricted permits that are only valid while the employee is on duty. May Issue is worse than No Issue, because it can change at the whim of a bureaucrat who decides that you don’t have a “justifiable need”.

    SAF and ANJRPC (NJ NRA state organization) are currently challenging the justifiable need portion of our may issue statute. Removing the need portion would make NJ a shall issue state. The case is Muller (et. al.) vs. Maenza (et. al.), if anybody wants to look it up.

  3. Tom says:

    All that matters is that Alan Gottlieb, and Alan Gura agree with you. The Kachalsky v. Cacace is why I joined the SAF, well one of the really good reason. Especially since I’m in NY. I pray it goes higher than the district court, because I don’t live in that district. our carry permits have to go before a county judge. We have 3: 2 democrats and 1 republican. They are chosen at random. If you get the republican you have a chance, otherwise… Nope!


    • Weerd Beard says:

      Yeah, I talked with Alan Gura at great lengths about what he felt could be done about Massachusetts gun laws and he had some very viable ideas. I think the first thing we’ll see (if “Safe Storage” isn’t struck from the books by other events ) is the fruits of the California handgun roster case. From there our permitting system (where you need a permission slip to buy or own guns and ammo) or maybe our AWB, given that sales figures from companies that make “post-ban” rifles and magazines will very quickly show “Common Use”.

      I’m ashamed I took as long as I did before I became a SAF life-Member. I’m not an NRA hater, and actually I’m a proud Life-Member, but the SAF is the org that’s going to get the most work done in the comming years.

      Sadly none of this will be quick, so we must work as hard as we can to elect pro-rights candidates, and urge them to pass reasonable laws.

      • BigHayden says:

        I was in the middle of an EZPay Life membership to the NRA when I joined SAF as a life member. When I saw the good things the SAF has been doing, I knew I had to be a part of that.

      • Tom says:

        Well I just registered for the GRPC, so maybe I’ll get some face time with somebody. I don’t have a clue yet what I can really do, but I know sending letters to Chuck Schumer sure as shit isn’t going to make a difference. Litigation seems a better bet over legislation… for us socialists states anyway.

  4. Blackhawk101 says:

    Interestingly where I ran into trouble was getting my NFA paperwork signed off by my chief. He first tried the old “well I dont want to be sued if these are used in a criminal manner” which got struck down when I presented him with the court cases that affirmed a CLEO cannot be held responsible for criminal misuse of an NFA item.

    Then I got the “well I dont sign off on these things unless you’ve been in the community a while”. I pinned him down that a while meant anything over 5 or 6 years. When I said I had been living in his town for 16 years he looked surprised and said “Well I’ve never knew that- I dont recognize you” to which my reply was Good- that means the police have never had a problem with me.

    FInally he just said what he wanted to say which was “I dont want these things in my town”. SO I informed him that I moved into his town with 3 machineguns and 4 suppressors already. That if he did not want to sign that I would simply go the trust route, bypass him, and just get whatever I wanted when I wanted without the hassle of a CLEO sign off. He was WAY unhappy with that response but did sign and has signed my paperwork since then.

    Now the detectives are so used to fingerprinting me twice a year for NFA items that we are on a first name basis. When they see me walk in its now “Hi Mike- SBR, suppressor or full auto this time?”

  5. Wally says:

    In Maine we have a “good moral character” clause. The seveal CLEOs I have spoken to about it all were sane men and used it very infrequently to weed out those people who may be a little less suitable. They used it rarely enough that it clearly wasn’t meant as an obstacle, just as a tool.
    Although there is nothing to say that a CLEO couldn’t use it as a route to justify “nobody gets one” , it just doesn’t work that way. But it could, and I am sure there are some libby towns that would swing that way.

    But the rub of the whole thing – under state law, ME can only arrange reciprocity agreements with other states that have similar requirements. Similar requirements, incliuding a ‘good moral character’ clause- so under law, Maine cannot grant reciprocity to any shall issue state. It is sad but true.

    • Weerd Beard says:

      I was wondering why Maine had such sucky reciprocity!

      • Wally says:

        well, that rule + the fact that our prior AG was a big steaming pile of useless. The new AG is better, but state law says we need to recognize two (exactly two) other state carry permits for reciprocity.

        IIRC, we now honor carry permits from Delaware and South Dakota. Tits on a swamp donkey, eh?

        • Weerd Beard says:

          What’s really odd is how filthy easy getting my Maine permit was once I got my Mass one. It was pretty much a “Make Photocopies, fill out form, cash check…wait for a long time because the State office kept getting snow days”.

          We need “Full Faith And Credit” is what we need. There ain’t no fucker walking down the street in Center Conway NH with is Pistol Permit and his NH-Made Ruger in his waistband and causing no problem is NOT going to start any shit just because he drives 10 mins West into Fryberg Maine.

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