A Georgia Sheriff joined the board

Discussion in 'Ga. County Licensing Information' started by SheriffOconee, Nov 26, 2006.

  1. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    Hi all,
    My name is Scott Berry, I am the Sheriff of Oconee County (county seat Watkinsville, 8 miles south of Athens on 441) The Probate Judges name is David Anglin.
    I thought I would join this board to help aid or guide some discussion, and I couldn't figure out any other way to get a correction posted for our county in the description of the permitting process.
    I have a lot to say, so bear with me.

    First, the information on our county site here needs to be corrected. We do fingerprints (electronically) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-2, and the charge is 5 dollars, not 10 (cash only please) The location is not the jail, but the Frank Norris Building next to the jail, the staff will be happy to help you.
    IF for some reason this just does not work for you, let me know and I will arrange a time to print you in the jail. Printing in the jail will be done as soon as practical, since the booking and processing of inmates can not be done with a citizen in the same room. It might take patience while you wait, but we will get to it.
    When the new jail opens the firearms and other "volunteer" type printing will take place in the new hearing room, the days and hours not yet set.

    Second, I can assure you that if your county is sending in inked cards, it will take a while. It took 12 weeks for the GBI to process a group of cards we submitted for school teachers earlier this year. We have done our best to eliminate inked cards.

    Third, the state law does say you do not have to give your SSN number on the application. The FP cards call for it as well. We will submit your prints electronically without your SSN if you so request, but if the GBI or FBI rejects the prints for that reason, the Sheriff's Office can not accept responsibility for that.

    Forth, if your prints are rejected we will get in touch with you for a reprint at our expense, and we will make it as easy on you as possible. Even electronic prints can be rejected for no apparant reason. It happens. We will make it right.

    I believe that every law abiding citizen who wants to carry a firearm, or purchase a firearm should be able to with the least restriction possible. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them and I will do my best to answer them.
     
  2. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    Welcome. Thanks for searching us out and joining, I'm sure your membership here will help us all.
     

  3. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    I second pro2am's sentiment. :welcome: Sheriff Berry! If you find the information on this site most acceptable, is it possible you could recommend GFL applicants in your county to visit this site?

    Please feel free to post any information you feel is relevant to the GFL. We could most definately use any information and/or suggestions from the LE community.
     
  4. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    Thanks for the warm welcome. I have read some of the posts here, and thought that I might be of help.
    FWIW, I found this site thru Glocktalk.com
     
  5. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    Well, I joined because it is important to me. I have read some posts from some members that, while they are frustrated and understandably so, call for action that seems dramatic since, in my opinion, all avenues of redress have not been sought out.

    Each probate judge in Georgia is a member of the County Officers Association of Georgia. COAG has a legal staff and an executive director, Bobby Carter. I wonder if any member of this group has been in touch with Bobby and expressed the concern that citizens feel in dealing with issues related to GFL and specifically, probate judges and how temporary permits are issued. COAG is a pretty active group, and it seems to me that a good faith meeting with the Executive Director, or absent that, the Executive Board might go a long way to helping streamline the process of issuing GFL's.
    I noticed on the COAG website that the info seems dated as to who is on the various boards, but Bobby Carters contact info is up to date and valid.

    I am going to take it on myself to call him and direct him to this site and let him take a look at what some of the citizens of Georgia seem to be experiencing.
     
  6. zxd9

    zxd9 Active Member

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    A warm welcome to MY local sheriff!
     
  7. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    I wondered if anyone from Oconee was here...glad to see some of the hometeam
     
  8. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

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  9. johnpeace

    johnpeace New Member

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    Thank you Sherriff, we do too!

    Thanks for clarifying the Oconee Co. process for us, we're glad to have you.
     
  10. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    Wow, I appreciate all the warm welcomes to the board. I intend to work on some of these GFL permit issues today. I will keep the board advised.
     
  11. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    Awesome! You're the best! :wink:

    If you get a minute, besure to check out Georgia's newest grass-roots pro carry organization. Georgia Carry dot ORG

    We have already have a few issues that we have been successful in addressing.
     
  12. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Sheriff Berry,

    Thank you for taking the time to post here. I also wanted to thank you for the sentiment quoted above, as I wish every law enforcement officer had the same attitude!

    The owner of this web site is returning from Cozumel today

    :drink:

    so if he is not too hungover, I am sure he will update the Oconee County licensing process later today! :D
     
  13. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Greetings, greetings. Glad you're here. Thank you for your public service.
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    To answer your question regarding COAG, I do not believe anybody who posts here has contacted them. The President of the Georgia Council of Probate Judges is, I believe, a defendant in a lawsuit brought by the group ICP Juggalo mentioned above. The plaintiff is one of GCO's members.

    In addition, there is already a lawsuit filed on the 60 day issue, which is currently fully briefed and waiting to be decided in the Georgia Court of Appeals ----> Link here

    And there have been several lawsuits regarding probate courts refusing to issue the temporary renewal license that is mandated in OCGA 16-11-129(i), all of which have resulted in issuance of the temporary license. The pleadings from the most recent lawsuit are contained here. Cobb County has now reported that it has changed its policy regarding temporary licenses as a result of this litigation. Even so, I received a report this weekend of yet one more county that is refusing to issue temporaries. The vast majority of the probate judges simply refuse to follow O.C.G.A. 16-11-129(i), even though they are well aware of what it says.

    I am intimately familiar with each of these lawsuits, and none of them were filed before repeated requests were made for the probate court to follow the law voluntarily.

    With that having been said, I would be very interested in hearing more about COAG and Bobby Carter, especially if they have any control over some of these issues.

    And welcome again to this board. Since I know or have met many of the people who participate here, I think you would be shocked how many LEOs and ex-LEOs participate here. In addition, I have met many active LEOs who regularly read the site but do not post here.

    I appreciate having the top LEO in a county actively participating here, and I hope you will decide to stick around.

    This board tends to get very active once the legislative session begins!
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Is there any chance SheriffOconee or zxd9 could inform me whether Oconee County is issuing temporary renewal licenses to applicants at the time of application?

    :D

    Oconee County is not on the list one way or the other.

    :wink:
     
  16. Wiley

    Wiley New Member

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    Sheriff Berry, welcome.

    The issues you address in your post are not the problems we are having State-wide and I realize that you can only speak to Oconee County (and I am in Cobb). The problems are with the Probate Judges who routinely miss-read or ignore State law.

    First, is there a legal requirement to process a background check on teachers within a time limit? There is one, by law, to issue or deny a GFL (60 days). Some Probate Judges are taking over twice as long as the law requires to issue.
    A three minuet NCIS check provides all the information to issue without having to bother you or other Sheriff’s since it can be done in the Court office. One Judge is claiming that she has to wait until she gets an OK back from the GBI, which is not supported in the Law.

    If Judge Anglin is taking longer than 60 days to issue a GFL, he is not complying with Georgia law. If he refuses to issue temporary licenses he is not complying with Georgia law. Read Georgia Code 16-11-129 to see if Judge Anglin is complying with the Law.

    Secondly, the Department of Public Safety application forms and Probate Courts have required that the applicant provide SSN’s. It took a court case to begin to bring the DPS and Probate Courts into compliance with Federal and State law. Additionally, certain Courts have required submission of employment information, extraneous information which is specifically prohibited by State law.

    The problems are not the administrative paper shuffling of which you speak, it is the active obstruction by a majority of Probate Judges in the State of Georgia and the Department of Public Safety to delay or deny the issuance of licenses to legally qualified applicants.

    Third, this does irritate me: “We do fingerprints (electronically) on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-2... Printing in the jail will be done as soon as practical, since the booking and processing of inmates can not be done with a citizen in the same room. ... When the new jail opens the firearms and other "volunteer" type printing will take place in the new hearing room, the days and hours not yet set.†It irritates me in that I, as a law abiding Citizen, in the process of complying with the Law, have to arrange my schedule around the processing of prisoners. Chain ‘em to a wall, put me at the head of the line. The five minuets delay it takes to zap my fingers won’t deny them justice. And how about ‘during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 5:00PM’ for the new hearing room?

    Finally, at least one County is issuing renewal licenses the same day. What are they doing that the other counties are not?

    Again, Welcome.
     
  17. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Wiley,

    At the risk of your taking down your auto-signature (thank, you by the way, for your repeated thanks), let me comment on this:

    Keep in mind that people who are being booked into the good sheriff's jail are innocent (not having been convicted of a crime -- at least not the one for which they are being booked). Some have families to support and jobs to go to, as soon as they get booked and make bond.

    Please don't take this statement as my being an apologist for criminals. I just believe we should pay more than lip service to the notion that people are innocent until proven guilty -- and that they should be treated accordingly.
     
  18. Wiley

    Wiley New Member

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    I fully agree and said the same to myself as I was writing it. I'm just not sharp enough to get the phrasing correct. I hope the sense of what I wrote got through.

    Re: my sig line: Its kind of like a Tibetian prayer wheel. As long as it keeps spinning the prayers go out. :)
     
  19. SheriffOconee

    SheriffOconee New Member

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    I just spoke with Judge Anglins office.
    They have issued over 175 temporary permits while waiting for the complete background check, the clerk offered to get me the exact number but I told her that wasn't necessary. They ARE NOT charging a dollar for it,, even thought they are authorized to do so.

    I hope that my county info will be updated soon. We are in compliance with the law, but I knew we would be.
    FWIW, there are over 3000 permits in Oconee, population is slightly over 30,000