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Thread: Concealed firearms permits up sharply

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    http://www.pressherald.com/news/conc...010-06-06.html

    Concealed firearms permits up sharply
    Concern for personal safety lies behind the increase, gun rights advocates say.
    By David Hench dhench@mainetoday.com
    Staff Writer


    Brian Boshea, a Limerick nurse taking a concealed weapons training course, says concern about home invasions and other violent crimes has fueled his desire to carry a gun for protection.

    "I've decided to become more responsible for my own safety rather than relying on law enforcement," said Boshea, a 52-year-old surgical technologist.

    Concern about crime and personal safety is behind a sharp increase in the number of concealed firearms permits issued by the Maine State Police, firearms instructors and gun rights advocates say.

    The number of people seeking concealed gun permits from the state police in 2009 was 5,706, an increase of 40 percent over 2008. Portland, the state's largest city, saw a 60 percent increase.

    That increase is in keeping with a steady growth over the years in the number of new permits being approved by police agencies.

    "In our membership, there's a feeling of urgency. We're going to be protecting ourselves and this is how we do it," said Merv Keller, of the Falmouth Rod and Gun Club. "It's also very empowering."

    Personal safety is a major reason given by students taking introductory handgun safety courses, particularly women, says Jeff Weinstein of the Maine Gun Owners Association and director of FirearmSafety.net. He typically asks students why they enroll in beginner or personal protection firearms classes.

    "Usually the response is they're concerned about horrific scenarios such as home invasions," Weinstein said.

    "People are looking for a means for self-defense. Calling 911 and the police, when it comes to violent crime, that's the secondary move. That's the follow-up," he said.

    The number of nonresident permits issued has also grown. Applicants are often seasonal residents or people from out of state who go hunting in Maine and want to carry a handgun with them.

    Communities with police departments are usually in charge of issuing concealed firearms permits, while rural communities typically ask state police to handle the applications. Permits are good for four years.

    State police have issued roughly 17,000 of the 29,000 active concealed firearms permits in Maine, 37 percent of them to nonresidents.

    The number of permits issued each year includes new applications and renewals. There appears to have been some year-to-year fluctuation in new permit applications, but overall, there has been a gradual increase over the past 15 years.

    State police issued 4,079 permits in 2006, the highest to that point. The numbers dropped in 2007 and 2008 from the 2006 total, but both were higher than four years earlier.

    Residents are typically free to carry guns in most places in the state, but the guns must be visible unless the person has a concealed firearms permit. Even with a permit, people can't carry guns in a state court building, a posted liquor establishment, on school property, in the area around the State House, on federal property and in some parks and wilderness areas, said Lt. David Bowler, head of the Maine State Police Gaming and Weapons Unit.

    Permits are typically issued by local police chiefs or the state police after a background check to make sure the applicant is not prohibited from owning a gun, because of a felony conviction, for example. The law lets police deny a permit to anyone who is not of "good moral character."

    Portland Police Chief James Craig said he was startled at the number of concealed firearms permits issued in Maine compared with Los Angeles, where he worked previously.

    Los Angeles had a high crime rate and approved relatively few concealed firearms permits, while Maine has a low crime rate and is fairly liberal in granting the permits, he said.

    But in Maine, granting concealed weapons permits has not increased crime, he said.

    Craig said that to reduce the chance that the permits will be issued to irresponsible people, he scrutinizes applicants' backgrounds closely, and sometimes denies a permit for certain misdemeanor convictions. Ten of 187 applicants were denied last year.

    "I look at each and every permit. I do not delegate that," he said. If a person has a reckless-conduct or operating-under-the-influence conviction "they're not going to get a permit from me," he said.

    In addition to concern about personal safety, some gun-rights advocates believe there was an upswing in gun sales and concealed weapons permit applications when Democrats took control of the White House and Congress. Some feared that liberal members of the party would push for stricter gun control laws, although that has not materialized.

    Sometimes a concealed firearms permit is for the simple convenience of being able to keep a handgun in a vehicle glovebox for the trip to and from a firing range.

    Hank Wheat, training committee chairman for the Scarborough Fish and Game Association, said more people have been enrolling in concealed weapons training classes.

    "We noticed that after 9/11 and it's been continuing ever since," Wheat said.

    Paul Mattson of Harrison, who offers concealed weapons courses, said carrying a gun does not increase the likelihood someone will become involved in a confrontation.

    "In our classes, we teach to avoid a confrontation if at all possible, but if you do have to defend yourself or an innocent other, you do have that training and ability."

    Boshea said defending himself against crime requires more than just carrying a gun.

    "I think the most important thing anyone can do if they decide to engage in self-defense with a firearm is seek qualified instruction," he said. "It's right up there with flying an aircraft, driving a motorcycle or a car. There's no margin for error."



    Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

    dhench@pressherald.com
    National Rifle Association Member
    United States Concealed Carry Association Member
    Gun Owners of America Member

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    Good article. Not I finally know who hightower is! haha... and it all makes sense.

    201 posts! I missed my 200th! :-(

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    And these are only the State Police numbers.

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    Craig said that to reduce the chance that the permits will be issued to irresponsible people, he scrutinizes applicants' backgrounds closely, and sometimes denies a permit for certain misdemeanor convictions. Ten of 187 applicants were denied last year. "I look at each and every permit. I do not delegate that," he said. If a person has a reckless-conduct or operating-under-the-influence conviction "they're not going to get a permit from me," he said.



    I wonder if these are enumerable offenses eligible for denial? Or is Philadelphia the only place that does that?
    States dont have rights. People do.

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    mrjam2jab wrote:
    Craig said that to reduce the chance that the permits will be issued to irresponsible people, he scrutinizes applicants' backgrounds closely, and sometimes denies a permit for certain misdemeanor convictions. Ten of 187 applicants were denied last year. "I look at each and every permit. I do not delegate that," he said. If a person has a reckless-conduct or operating-under-the-influence conviction "they're not going to get a permit from me," he said.



    I wonder if these are enumerable offenses eligible for denial? Or is Philadelphia the only place that does that?
    yes, I know i used an anti-gun website but they outlined it really nicely haha. Either way it was just from a quick google search.

    Concealed Weapons Licensing Requirements

    Maine is a “may issue” state, meaning that local law enforcement has discretion when issuing concealed weapons permits. Maine prohibits the carrying of a concealable firearm without a valid permit. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 25, § 2001-A. Section 2003(1) provides that a permit to carry a concealed firearm “shall” be issued by the local issuing authority (Chief of the State Police or municipal officers or the local chief of police, if designated) to any applicant who “has demonstrated good moral character” and meets other specified criteria. Law enforcement has some discretion in determining whether an applicant has demonstrated good moral character (see below). An applicant who has demonstrated good moral character will be granted a permit if he or she:
    • Is 18 years of age or older;
    • Is not disqualified from possessing a firearm (see the Maine Background Checks section);
    • Completes a detailed application that includes any record of previous issuances of, refusals to issue, and revocations of any permit to carry concealed weapons by any issuing authority in Maine or any other jurisdiction, and requests the applicant to answer 32 questions denying, inter alia, certain age restrictions, pending felony charges, felony convictions, other violent crimes or juvenile or other offenses;
    • Takes whatever action is required by law to allow the issuing authority to obtain from the Department of Health and Human Services, limited to records of patient committals to Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, the courts, law enforcement agencies and the military, information relevant to: 1) whether the information supplied on the application or any documents made a part of the application are true and correct; 2) whether each of the additional requirements of section 2003 has been met; and 3) the provisions of section 2005 (regarding the revocation of concealed firearms permits and the change of residence of permit holders); and
    • Demonstrates knowledge of handgun safety, either by completing a recognized handgun safety course within five years of the application, or by personally demonstrating his or her knowledge to the licensing authority, if the licensing authority is willing to evaluate the applicant.
    In judging the applicant's "good moral character," section 2003(4) states that the licensing authority may only consider government records within the preceding five years, including but not limited to records regarding:
    • Incidents of abuse by the applicant upon family or household members;
    • Three or more misdemeanor convictions, or one or more juvenile offense adjudications involving conduct that would have been punishable by less than one year of imprisonment if committed by an adult;
    • That the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct; or
    • Convictions or juvenile adjudications for certain drug possession or trafficking offenses.
    Fees for an initial application are $35 for residents of a municipality or unorganized territory, and $60 for a nonresident. Section 2003(1)(E)(4).
    Additional application and background check requirements, as well as permit suspension or disqualification information, are detailed under section 2003 and section 2005-A. Permit revocation information is detailed under section 2005(1).
    Disclosure or Use of Information
    Under Maine Revised Statutes Annotated title 25, § 2006, all applications for a permit to carry a concealed firearm, documents created as part of an application, refusals to issue a permit and any information of record collected by the licensing agency during the process of ascertaining whether an applicant is of “good moral character” and meets the requirements under sections 2003 and 2005 are confidential and may not be made available for public inspection or copying. Section 2006. Furthermore, all proceedings related to the issuance, refusal to issue, or revocation of a permit are not public proceedings (see Title 1, Chapter 13), unless requested to be by the applicant. Section 2006. Anyone who intentionally or knowingly violates the provisions of section 2006 is criminally liable for a Class E crime, the penalty for which is imprisonment not to exceed one year. Section 2004.
    The licensing authority is required to make a permanent record of each permit to carry concealed firearms in a suitable book or file kept for that purpose. Section 2006. The record must include the information contained in the permit itself and shall be available for public inspection. Id.
    At the request of the licensing authority, any records pertaining to patient committals to Riverview Psychiatric Center and Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center, or compiled pursuant to Tit. 19-A, § 4012(1) (which pertains to law enforcement agency responsibilities for the reporting of domestic abuse) must be made available to the licensing authority, provided the records are necessary to the licensing authority's determination of the applicant's good moral character and compliance with the requirements of tit. 25, §§ 2003 and 2005. Section 2003(5), as amended by 2005 Me. Laws Ch. 236.
    Finally, although municipal officers are required to publish an annual report regarding municipal affairs (Tit. 30-A, § 2801), such reports cannot contain the names of persons issued concealed firearms permits. Section 2801(3-A).


    **LINK** : http://www.lcav.org/states/maine.asp...ncealedweapons



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    Maine seems a LOT more May-Issue to me than it does shall-issue. Opinions?

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    its definately "may issue" hence why it took me so long to get mine. i had a charge for "reckless conduct with a firearm" after the safety on a DAO pistol i had failed and i had my first real accidental discharge. Even though the charge was dropped after MSPD and evidence techs proved i was not at fault. i still got denied 3 times. seems to really be up to the opinion of the person issuing the permit. and not the law.

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    How does the safety on a DAO pistol not working result in a discharge? Did you pull the trigger to see if the safety worked? Thats the only thing that I can come up with? Double-action pistols are typically a 10lb pull unless it's a LDA which would still be an extremely long pull of somewhere around 5lbs like the DAK trigger which I think is at 4.5lbs. A lot of DA/SA pistols don't even come with external safeties these days. Let alone the striker fired pistols that simply have a safety on the trigger. I'm not seeing how this accidental discharge occurred?

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    shanebelanger wrote:
    How does the safety on a DAO pistol not working result in a discharge? Did you pull the trigger to see if the safety worked? Thats the only thing that I can come up with? Double-action pistols are typically a 10lb pull unless it's a LDA which would still be an extremely long pull of somewhere around 5lbs like the DAK trigger which I think is at 4.5lbs. A lot of DA/SA pistols don't even come with external safeties these days. Let alone the striker fired pistols that simply have a safety on the trigger. I'm not seeing how this accidental discharge occurred?
    You don't see how it happened because Jay is full of sh*t, as usual.

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    So since I don't have any of the moral "bullets" to worry about it should be shall issue for me even tho I live in PA?

    ******
    In judging the applicant's "good moral character," section 2003(4) states that the licensing authority may only consider government records within the preceding five years, including but not limited to records regarding:
    • Incidents of abuse by the applicant upon family or household members;
    • Three or more misdemeanor convictions, or one or more juvenile offense adjudications involving conduct that would have been punishable by less than one year of imprisonment if committed by an adult;
    • That the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct; or
    • Convictions or juvenile adjudications for certain drug possession or trafficking offenses.
    *****
    States dont have rights. People do.

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    mrjam2jab wrote:
    So since I don't have any of the moral "bullets" to worry about it should be shall issue for me even tho I live in PA?

    ******
    In judging the applicant's "good moral character," section 2003(4) states that the licensing authority may only consider government records within the preceding five years, including but not limited to records regarding:
    • Incidents of abuse by the applicant upon family or household members;
    • Three or more misdemeanor convictions, or one or more juvenile offense adjudications involving conduct that would have been punishable by less than one year of imprisonment if committed by an adult;
    • That the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct; or
    • Convictions or juvenile adjudications for certain drug possession or trafficking offenses.
    *****
    Well, Maine is interesting on giving out their Concealed Carry Permits... apparently it's NEVER shall issue, but it's extremely likely that you will receive it. It's typically very easy to get one in Maine if you follow the necessary requirements. And you don't have any criminal record. If you would like to get a Maine permit to carry a concealed firearm you will also be going through the state police who tend, at least in my viewpoint to be much more pro 2ndA than say the Portland PD, or the Fort Fairfield PD.

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    Our classes have been packed. www.MaineCWPtraining.com
    Last edited by Maine CWP Training; 07-14-2010 at 11:56 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maine CWP Training View Post
    Our classes have been packed.
    As much as I hate to deprive you of income, I'm glad that my DD-214 and range qual sheets exempted me from needing a class.

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    Los Angeles had a high crime rate and approved relatively few concealed firearms permits, while Maine has a low crime rate and is fairly liberal in granting the permits, he said.


    HENCE THE LOW CRIME RATE!!!!

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