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Thread: Are my rights being violated?

  1. #1
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    Okay, a little background on the situation: I was a student at the University of Iowa until last spring when I graduated. I haven't found a job yet and my student job at the University took me on as a temp hourly worker. In order to apply for Co-ops and internships I have applied to the University for non-degree graduate student status, but I am NOT enrolled at this time and have NOT registered for any classes. Nor do I intend to for at least a year, if ever.

    I went to the Johnson County Sheriff's Dept yesterday and applied for a permit to purchase. I have no record of any kind--not even a speeding ticket--that would keep me from being issued a permit.

    Today I received an email from the University of Iowa Police requesting that I meet with their 'Threat Assessment Specialists' with regard to my application for a permit to purchase a firearm. I am no longer a student. Are they allowed to pull me into this meeting? So far I'm cooperating with them, but I'm not really sure what to expect. Can they cause my permit to be denied if I say I'm thinking about purchasing a handgun? Can they have it denied if I refuse to say what sort of firearm I'm planning to purchase? At this time I truly haven't decided what I will buy. Maybe a shotgun, maybe a pistol, maybe just a compound bow. I've been around firearms all my life and I'm a certified Hunter Safety Instructor. I understand they have to be careful at Iowa, especially looking back on the incident in the early 90s, but it still doesn't quite sit right with me. If I wanted to, could I refuse this meeting? They want me to come in right in the middle of the work day, which isn't exactly convenient.

    Anyway, hope someone can help me figure out what my rights are in this case.

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    Crimson_Apollo wrote:
    Okay, a little background on the situation: I was a student at the University of Iowa until last spring when I graduated. I haven't found a job yet and my student job at the University took me on as a temp hourly worker. In order to apply for Co-ops and internships I have applied to the University for non-degree graduate student status, but I am NOT enrolled at this time and have NOT registered for any classes. Nor do I intend to for at least a year, if ever.

    I went to the Johnson County Sheriff's Dept yesterday and applied for a permit to purchase. I have no record of any kind--not even a speeding ticket--that would keep me from being issued a permit.

    Today I received an email from the University of Iowa Police requesting that I meet with their 'Threat Assessment Specialists' with regard to my application for a permit to purchase a firearm. I am no longer a student. Are they allowed to pull me into this meeting? So far I'm cooperating with them, but I'm not really sure what to expect. Can they cause my permit to be denied if I say I'm thinking about purchasing a handgun? Can they have it denied if I refuse to say what sort of firearm I'm planning to purchase? At this time I truly haven't decided what I will buy. Maybe a shotgun, maybe a pistol, maybe just a compound bow. I've been around firearms all my life and I'm a certified Hunter Safety Instructor. I understand they have to be careful at Iowa, especially looking back on the incident in the early 90s, but it still doesn't quite sit right with me. If I wanted to, could I refuse this meeting? They want me to come in right in the middle of the work day, which isn't exactly convenient.

    Anyway, hope someone can help me figure out what my rights are in this case.
    Regarding your status in connection with UI, check with the Registrar. I'm pretty sure you'll come up as a (non-degree seeking) graduate student.

    It's interesting to see an example of how integrated databases can be with regard to LE and academic entities. The massively increased sharing of the data is a trend over the last 5 years or so. It's gonna get worse...

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    So far I'm still listed as faculty/staff. I doubt I'll be listed as a student unless I actually fork over some money and/or register for classes--neither of which I'm planning to do in 2010. Can they deny a permit to purchase just because you've applied to grad school and thought about going?

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    Crimson_Apollo wrote:
    So far I'm still listed as faculty/staff. I doubt I'll be listed as a student unless I actually fork over some money and/or register for classes--neither of which I'm planning to do in 2010. Can they deny a permit to purchase just because you've applied to grad school and thought about going?
    I'm not so sure about that. Plenty of individuals maintainstudent status andhave a semester (or more) off without classes--for various reasons.

    If you are listed as faculty/staff then you probably would do well to get guidance from your department head or dean of the college that you are affiliated with. Chances are really good they already know about it.

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    This is a little different from taking a break from school. I have my degree. My student accounts have all been closed, including my email, and I had to change my work status from 'student' to 'temp hourly' this fall because I didn't have student status anymore. If they pull the 'student status' card on this one issue, then that's a pretty steep double standard.

    The email did say they "generally" meet with any student or staff member applying for a permit. As far as I'm concerned, right now I'm an employee, not a student. I want to know if my employer has the right to do this and where I stand going into this meeting. If I told them I'm too busy to get dragged out of work on Monday between 11AM and 1PM, could they do anything about it?

    It may be a dead issue, considering the date and time are currently scheduled, but even though I've asked twice they haven't bothered to tell me WHERE the meeting is taking place.

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    Are my rights being violated?
    Yes. Anytime the government requires their permission for you to arm yourself your rights are being violated. I'm not just talking about the Permit to Acquire.

    I went to the Johnson County Sheriff's Dept yesterday and applied for a permit to purchase. I have no record of any kind--not even a speeding ticket--that would keep me from being issued a permit.
    Then the sheriff is required to give you the permit. There is no discretion by the sheriff allowed in the issuance of the Permit to Acquire.

    Today I received an email from the University of Iowa Police requesting that I meet with their 'Threat Assessment Specialists' with regard to my application for a permit to purchase a firearm. I am no longer a student. Are they allowed to pull me into this meeting?
    It would seem the sheriff has taken it upon himself to inform your employer of your desire to acquire a firearm. Since there is no protection of those records in law then whether or not the sheriff has broken any law is debatable, it is certainly not right.

    Can they cause my permit to be denied if I say I'm thinking about purchasing a handgun? Can they have it denied if I refuse to say what sort of firearm I'm planning to purchase? At this time I truly haven't decided what I will buy. Maybe a shotgun, maybe a pistol, maybe just a compound bow. I've been around firearms all my life and I'm a certified Hunter Safety Instructor.
    Legally, no. As your employer they can fire you though. As a property owner they could potentially bar you from entering their property since firearm owners are not a protected class.

    Even though it is illegal for the sheriff to do so he has in the past denied Permits to Acquire to students and employers at UofI.

    I understand they have to be careful at Iowa, especially looking back on the incident in the early 90s, but it still doesn't quite sit right with me. If I wanted to, could I refuse this meeting? They want me to come in right in the middle of the work day, which isn't exactly convenient.
    I do not have the same understanding that you do. If you refuse the meeting they can refuse your employment. The SHERIFF can deny your permit based on this BUT he would be breaking the law doing so.

    Anyway, hope someone can help me figure out what my rights are in this case.
    I don't know if I was all that helpful but my advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

    There was that incident lately of the professor that shot himself in the woods. He applied for a Permit to Acquire some point before that but was denied not because he could not pass the background check but because he was accused of sexual harassment. An accusation is not sufficient, by law, to deny the permit. He ended up shooting himself with a rifle he owned for some time.

    The sheriff in Johnson County has been known to break the law in the past when it comes to Permits to Acquire. He has also been known to check with UofI before issuing permits since most everyone in the county is either a student or employee of the university. When it comes to Permits to Carry the sheriff can deny for any reason but checking with the university crosses some sort of line.

    Next time they contact you you should ask why they wish to talk to you and any potential outcomes of that meeting. One question that comes to mind is if you could be fired for either not going or going but not answering any questions.

    I don't know what to tell you to do, and I'm not even sure what I would do. One thing I would do is consider moving and/or finding other employment. You wouldn't have to move far, just to another county.

    If you do end up not getting your permit or losing your job over this then that would open the door to lawsuits.

    Are you a member of the NRA? If you aren't then you should be, might put you on their good side if it comes to a lawsuit as they can bring some "big guns" on your side.

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    Oh, and you should SERIOUSLY consider getting a lawyer. The sheriff and the university crossed a line and just put you in a very tough spot, things could get ugly real quick. You might want a lawyer before the meeting and advise them to contact your lawyer directly.

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    Okay, I'll admit I'm an outsider (a Pennsylvanian, not an Iowan), but isn't there something terribly wrong, on so many levels, with needing a "permit to purchase" in order to legally obtain a lawful product? I'm reasonably certain that criminals don't go through such a process, and it doesn't stop them from obtaining firearms.

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    Statkowski wrote:
    Okay, I'll admit I'm an outsider (a Pennsylvanian, not an Iowan), but isn't there something terribly wrong, on so many levels, with needing a "permit to purchase" in order to legally obtain a lawful product? I'm reasonably certain that criminals don't go through such a process, and it doesn't stop them from obtaining firearms.
    Very much so. Currently, Iowa has a preemption on handgun purchases. This means that if you want to purchase a long gun, you go through the over the counter NICS check. If you want to purchase a handgun, you go through the state. Our system requires that you receive the 'permit to aquire' as evidence that a state background check has been run. Sheriff's have no discretion in the issuance of these permits. Removing the permit to purchase is a goal of many organizations active in the state.

    As for the OP, I'd argue this from a position of strength. You've done nothing wrong, so don't let them make you feel as though you have. If you have nothing in your record barring you from purchasing a handgun, all of their bluster shouldn't amount to a hill of beans. Remember you don't need a permit to aquire long guns in this state, only handguns. Go in and press the sheriff about it. Why haven't you been issued your permit? On what grounds are is he dragging his feet?

    As far as your status, you said they interview any students or staff that are thinking of buying a handgun right? You're at least one of those, and possibly more. You can complain that they shouldn't do this, but I don't think there's any legal violation for them to request this meeting of you. I'd say go to the meeting. Tell them what you're an upstanding citizen and you'll buy what you legally can for legal use. Then write to your local papers, and the head of the University about why this should be done.

    My $0.02

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    Isn't the Permit to Purchase legally supposed to be issued "on the spot"...but postdated 3 days?


    States donít have rights. People do.

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    mrjam2jab wrote:
    Isn't the Permit to Purchase legally supposed to be issued "on the spot"...but postdated 3 days?¬*

    Yes, but that doesn't seem to stop the sheriffs from doing different.

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    Many sheriffs make it a two trip affair. Come in and apply, come back in 3 days for your permit.

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