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Thread: Questions/clarifications on laws concerning the carrying of firearms

  1. #1
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    Questions/clarifications on laws concerning the carrying of firearms

    I am reading up on gun laws, in my home state and in a neighboring state (where my girlfriend lives, and I will move to if we get married).

    First one, what are my rights concerning use as protection for others, i.e. if I were out on a date with my girlfriend and a maniac attacked her without being provoked, etc? I ask because my hometown, of less than 200,000 people, is rated in the Top 15 for violent crimes in the nation. The next big city is 3-4 times bigger and rated 9th.

    Second, What exactly are the laws talking about as far as "not a felon, no mental illness, no history of drug addiction"? To be honest, I am ADHD, and have had priors for small misdemeanor drug offenses (marijuana). Nothing that was felony, mostly simple possession. These charges are SUPPOSED to be off of my record.

    Third, if I do decide to carry, legally within my rights, is there a way to check my criminal history online or through the local LE's? I would hate to go off into the matter thinking I was completely legal and find out I wasn't. Most of the aforementioned charges should have been expunged, but I would like to make sure beforehand.

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.

  2. #2
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO. Check the TN state forum for some leads to the appropriate laws and interpretations that seem to be agreed on as holding true for Tn.

    [quote]First one, what are my rights concerning use as protection for others, i.e. if I were out on a date with my girlfriend and a maniac attacked her without being provoked, etc?[//quote]

    Generally speaking, you can use deadly force to protect an innocent third party to the same extent you can use deadly force to protect yourself. Check both your state laws and Tn/neighboring state case law to see how the courts interpret that.

    Second, What exactly are the laws talking about as far as "not a felon, no mental illness, no history of drug addiction"? To be honest, I am ADHD, and have had priors for small misdemeanor drug offenses (marijuana). Nothing that was felony, mostly simple possession. These charges are SUPPOSED to be off of my record.
    If you had a felony conviction you would probably know it. Trying to buy a gun from a FFL with a felony conviction on your record is one way to find out, if you are not sure.

    That mental illness stuff has to do with being involuntaroily committed to an inpatient MH facility for treatment after a hearing in some court. (Some statyes have expections that deal with voluntarily admitting yourself for in-patient treatment to avoid being committed by a court. Check your state laws.

    Federal law (and perhaps your state law) counts current pot use as "history of drug addiction" as well as court committment for treatment of drug addiction. Again, check your local state laws for the details.

    Third, if I do decide to carry, legally within my rights, is there a way to check my criminal history online or through the local LE's? I would hate to go off into the matter thinking I was completely legal and find out I wasn't. Most of the aforementioned charges should have been expunged, but I would like to make sure beforehand.
    The answer to your specific question is "No, there is no way you can do that."

    You can check with the clerk of the court where you were convicted of the misdemeanor charges to see if they have been expunged.

    What makes you think they should have been expunged? Convictions usually are part of your permanent record unless the court took speific actio to later expunge them - usually in response to a petition you filed asking for that to happen. Or did youy get a delayed/deferred sentence that included expungement on condition of no law violations/arrests/convictions for a certain period of time after your court hearing?

    If you have questins and want to get an attorney to explain it to you without spending a lot of money check with your state bar association on how to use tjheir lawyer referral service. (Usually 30 minutes for a dirt-cheap fee.)

    You ask about "decid[ing] to carry, legally within my rights". Does that in fact mean you already posses a handgun? See my above comment about trying to buy from a FFL.

    stay safe.
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    Heuristic for self-defense

    From the common law, the elements of appropriate self-defense are four; be innocent of instigation, be in reasonable fear of bodily harm, use sufficient force to prevent evil only, attempt to withdraw. The devilish details are in the laws of each jurisdiction, and to get those answers you might re-post this question in the particular state sub-forum.

    The significance of previous charges and lifestyle questions are, again, up to the individual states and the BATF as entered on Form 4473

    https://www.atf.gov/content/firearms...ons-eform-4473
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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    what is it about referencing a form where you record data only as a viable cite...especially nightmare since the cite you provided and referenced is an e-form application for FFLs to download and then have the customer complete on the FFL's computer.

    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 07-13-2014 at 09:33 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Be kind. He's trying.

    Very trying.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Skidmark,

    I deleted your quoted response, but it was very helpful. Yes, I currently do own a handgun. I thought I was in my rights because I am not a drug addict, nor have been to court ordered treatment for anything. Also, the charges were, as you stated, expunged on the condition of fines paid, no other criminal arrests in a certain time period, etc. They are also all over a decade old, and none are felonies.

    I could understand if I was addicted to meth, or cocaine because those are drugs that seriously mess with your demeanor and mindset. Honestly, I am an average guy. I go to work, I come home, I take care of my house, I have a girlfriend.... All standard males do. I do not look for trouble, nor do I want any. My city is 13th in the Nation as far as violent crime. We have had a shooting and a stabbing death this week alone. The city barely has 200,000 people in it. That is why I am interested in it.

    I honestly think the gun laws should change. I don't consider myself a danger to anyone or anything just because I have some "illegal" habits (yes, it's law, but that doesn't always make the laws fair and just). I am very careful, and take every precaution I can.

    Also, after all the different things I see online about police indiscretions, and the general crappiness of the local PD and SD to do anything about anything, makes me want to pursue this. I really opened my eyes when the Milwaukee Co., Wisconsin Sheriff got on TV and told that all able citizens should purchase guns because the police will not always be there.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    dude -

    There is no need to try and convince anybody you are a Good GuyTM and not a BG. How you act will do that for you.

    As I see things you are letting the antis win before they even start on you - by being all paranoid and worrying about if you really, truely, honestly are legal or not. I keep reading something about "A right not exercised is a right lost" - or something like that - every time I open up OCDO.

    OTOH, there's nothing wrong with checking with the clerk of tthe court to verify that indeed your charges/convictions were expunged. It has been known to happen that someone forgot to do the paperwork.

    I raely offer personal advice but I'm going to make an exception. Do not set out to skirt the laws that you think are unfair or unjust. Get your rear end in gear and work to try to change/repeal them.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  8. #8
    Regular Member Kopis's Avatar
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    I "think" you would still be able to get a handgun permit. I have a friend that is about 30 and is on ADHD medicine and he has a HCP here in TN. he actually transferred his from MA a few years ago. Now that i think about it, i have another friend at the office that is on some kind of ADHD medicine too because on the days he doesnt take it..... you can tell lol.

    I think the mental adjudication thing you were talking about it being committed. I do think at some point in the near future, being on ADHD medicine, having/claiming PTSD and other similar things will cause citizens to lose their gun rights.

    You can always buy a gun at an FFL and see if you pass the BG check or not. I know there is an appeal for the firearm buy and for the permit as well. so if you have a misdemeanor charge for a having a little pot a few years ago, they may blanket deny everyone for something like that, then you appeal and win later.

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dude714
    First one, what are my rights concerning use as protection for others, i.e. [sic] if I were out on a date with my girlfriend and a maniac attacked her
    In most places, it's legal to defend a third person as long as they would be legally able to defend themselves. Check your state laws.
    Here's a good place to research for TN: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/tncode/

    What exactly are the laws talking about as far as "not a felon, no mental illness, no history of drug addiction"?
    Felony is pretty self-explanatory - a crime for which the punishment includes the possibility of a year or more in prison. There are exclusions for some white-collar crimes, and for crimes which the state considers misdemeanors, even though the punishment includes the potential of more than a year in prison.

    The law (at least federal law) does not say "no mental illness", it says (and you can read this on the 4473 - question 11f on page 1 - and in the instructions which start on the upper right of the right-hand column on page 4):
    not adjudicated mentally incompetent
    not found not guilty of a crime by reason of mental defect
    not involuntarily committed to a mental institution

    Some states (coughIllinoiscough) have more strict laws w/r/t brain diseases.
    I see that as illegal discrimination against someone with a disability, or at least a perceived disability.

    As far as drug addiction, you cannot be (or have been) dependent upon any drug, including legally-prescribed ones, and you cannot have used illegal drugs. This is something the "legal" pot users either don't know or don't care about, because it's illegal on the federal level and nothing states do with their laws will change that.

    have had priors for small misdemeanor drug offenses (marijuana) ... These charges are SUPPOSED to be off of my record
    Sounds like you're a prohibited person, but you should talk with an attorney in your state to be sure.

    is there a way to check my criminal history online or through the local LE's?
    I've been googling, trying to find TN court records online, and am having little luck for anything below the appellate level. Contact the clerk of courts where you were dealt with & ask if there's a way to look up your record online, also if your record has actually been expunged (unlikely). Or contact the attorney who got you that deal, look at your court paperwork, etc.

    And you should work to change the laws you don't like. Don't just go breaking them.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 07-17-2014 at 06:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member JustaShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    As far as drug addiction, you cannot be (or have been) dependent upon any drug, including legally-prescribed ones, and you cannot have used illegal drugs.
    Perhaps I'm just reading it differently than you, but from the 4473:
    Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?
    Whether or not someone has used illegal drugs in the past doesn't appear to warrant a "yes" answer, only if you are currently a user of illegal drugs. What am I missing?
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  11. #11
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    really what is this pervasive insistence on quoting a form...it is only a piece of paper to record information on...not law.

    478.2, Subpart B:
    Unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.
    A person who uses a controlled substance and has lost the power of self-control with reference to the use of controlled substance; and any person who is a current user of a controlled substance in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician. Such use is not limited to the use of drugs on a particular day, or within a matter of days or weeks before, but rather that the unlawful use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such contact. A person may be an unlawful current user of a controlled substance even though the substance is not being used at the precise time the person seeks to acquire a firearm or receives or possesses a firearm. An inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time, e.g., a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; multiple arrests for such offenses with the past 5 years if the most recent arrest occurred within the past year, or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administrated within the last year.
    Unquote.
    http://www.atf.gov/files/publication...f-p-5300-4.pdf pg 39

    ipse
    Last edited by solus; 07-17-2014 at 11:28 PM.
    I'm only human; I do what I can; I'm just a man; I do what I can; Don't put the blame on me; Don't put your blame on me ~ Rag'n'Bone Man.

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  12. #12
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    Whether you, me, or the world agree if you smoke weed then technically you need to check that box. I'm in WA where weed is legal, but if you check that box you will not get a gun or a CPL in this state.
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