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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.casperstartribune.net/articl ... 02072f.txt

Wyo loses gun lawsuit
By BEN NEARY
Associated Press writer Wednesday, May 09, 2007

CHEYENNE -- The federal agency that tracks gun purchases was correct in rejecting a Wyoming law that sought to allow people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges to regain their right to own guns through the state courts, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ruled Tuesday against Wyoming's claim that the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arbitrarily rejected the 2004 state law.

The federal agency had warned Wyoming that if it persisted in allowing people with misdemeanor violence convictions to buy guns, that the federal government would no longer recognize more than 10,000 concealed carry permits issued by the state as a substitute for federal background checks for firearms purchases.

"We are pleased with the court's decision," Justice Department spokesman Charles S. Miller in Washington, D.C., said Tuesday.

Pat Crank, Wyoming attorney general, said he was disappointed with Johnson's ruling. He said he hadn't read it.

"We thought we had a very sound legal argument," Crank said. "We'll have to review it and see if we want to appeal, or if this will be the end of this lawsuit."

The National Rifle Association had argued in court on the state's behalf. Observers had said they expected the Wyoming case would have national implications.

Congress in 1996 expanded the law that bans convicted felons from owning guns to apply to people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

Although states have the ability to expunge convictions, Wyoming's law attempted to specify that convictions could be removed for purposes of restoring firearms rights but remain on the books for purposes of enhancing punishment for any subsequent conviction.

"In short, the applicant may be prohibited ... from carrying firearms because of the BATF's determination that a state's statute is insufficient to remove a federal firearms prohibition," the judge wrote.

Besides a possible appeal, Crank said: "The other option is that the Legislature can always go back and change the law, and make it more of a complete expungement."

Crank's office issues concealed carry firearms permits for the state. He said he's aware of one person who has obtained a concealed carry permit after having a misdemeanor conviction expunged.

Crank said he didn't know how many people have had misdemeanor convictions expunged.

Daniel Vice, junior attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C., said it was appropriate for the federal government to oppose a law that would "make it easier for dangerous people to get their guns back."

"The Brady Center applauds the court's ruling," Vice said. "Particularly after Virginia Tech, we shouldn't be making it easier for dangerous people to get their guns."

Ashley Varner, spokeswoman for the NRA in Fairfax, Va., said that despite the judge's ruling, her organization still believes the Wyoming law was solid.

"It provides a very detailed process by which a person could apply to get their rights restored," Varner said. "We feel that it was a responsible way to go about any kind of expungement process. It's important to note that the law provided for the victims of a crime, as well as the prosecutor, to weigh in on the court's decision. And we feel that was a solid way, a solid law."

Associated Press Writer Matt Apuzzo in Washington contributed to this report.
 

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Wyoming must have lots of cops with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions and wants to put them back on the streets in patrol cars. Or, the governor's hard-drinking, bar-fighting and out-of-control nephew wants a CCW permit... :drink:

Remember when this first became law and lots of cops lost their ability to carry? Apparently, this is a big problem nation-wide.

Personally, I'm not so sure a guy who smacks around his woman should be carrying a concealed firearm. So, I'm sorta happy Wyoming lost this one... A guy with that kind of temper and the inability to control it, really shouldn't have a gun in his pocket.........! :rant:
 

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Macktee said:
Wyoming must have lots of cops with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions and wants to put them back on the streets in patrol cars. Or, the governor's hard-drinking, bar-fighting and out-of-control nephew wants a CCW permit... :drink:

Remember when this first became law and lots of cops lost their ability to carry? Apparently, this is a big problem nation-wide.

Personally, I'm not so sure a guy who smacks around his woman should be carrying a concealed firearm. So, I'm sorta happy Wyoming lost this one... A guy with that kind of temper and the inability to control it, really shouldn't have a gun in his pocket.........! :rant:
I thought that cops have an exemption so that they can still carry/work?

Also, not all these domestic violence convictions are the stereotypical bad husband beats sweet little wife who is scared to leave him because she loves him situation (think Lifetime movie).

Usually, if the cops are called the man goes to jail, even if he is just defending himself. It could have been a bad breakup situation, etc. Life happens, not defending creeps, just stating the facts.

Sometimes these convictions are not even between intimate couples...a step father could get into an altercation with his adult step son, etc.

If the situation is bad enough the person would have been charged with a felony. So I'm going to have to disagree with you Macktee...NOTHING that is a misdemeanor deserves having your gun rights taken away for life.

http://www.atf.gov/pub/fire-explo_pub/i33103.pdf
 

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I thought that cops have an exemption so that they can still carry/work?
Okay, found this on the ATF website:

3. Does the new disability apply to law enforcement officers?

Yes. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was amended so that employees of Government agencies convicted of qualifying misdemeanors would not be exempt from this new disability with respect to their receipt or possession of firearms or ammunition. Thus, law enforcement officers and other Government officials who have been convicted of a disqualifying misdemeanor may not lawfully possess or receive firearms or ammunition for any purpose, including performance of their official duties. This disability applies to firearms and ammunition issued by Government agencies, firearms and ammunition purchased by Government employees for use in performing their official duties, and personal firearms and ammunition possessed by such employees.
This and more info about it here:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/domestic/qa.htm
 

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Macktee said:
Remember when this first became law and lots of cops lost their ability to carry? Apparently, this is a big problem nation-wide.
Where are you getting your figures that constitute it being a "big problem"? In over eight years I do not personally know of a single case in which an officer was convicted in a DV case and had to be fired. I'm sure that it happens, but it sure isn't a "big" problem as it rarely happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
legacy38 said:
Where are you getting your figures that constitute it being a "big problem"? In over eight years I do not personally know of a single case in which an officer was convicted in a DV case and had to be fired. I'm sure that it happens, but it sure isn't a "big" problem as it rarely happens.
In 1997, the Los Angeles Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation of the LAPD after a legal consultant named Bob Mullally leaked shocking LAPD personnel files to the press. These files documented scores of violent domestic crimes committed by LAPD officers. Mullally was so shocked by the LAPD's mishandling of this police family violence that he decided to violate the civil protective order in the case he was working on and turn the files over to the media, in the hopes of creating change in the LAPD.

Rather than reviewing the problem or recommending improvements, the LAPD sued Mullally for leaking the information.
http://www.womenandpolicing.org/violenceFS.asp

Oh, and Mulally served jail time for this. Some of the officers are still working.

My guess is that you are too young to have even been working when this law was passed. I was working, and it was a huge issue when this law was new. It is not an issue now because the law is old and those people have been weeded out.

It would have been an even bigger issue for the military.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
GAGunOwner said:
I thought that cops have an exemption so that they can still carry/work?
They did have such a work-related exemption originally, but there was such an outcry (justified, I might add) that they lost the exemption in 1996. Unfortunately, this law is not enforced very much, so there are still a lot of officers out there violating this federal law with no real fear of prosecution or firing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
http://www.pennyharrington.com/gunbanfacts.htm
. . . law enforcement officers have been able to circumvent the ban and retain their weapons. A 1999 survey of the nation's 100 largest police departments revealed that only six cities acted against officers because of the Domestic Violence Gun Ban and only eleven officers were affected.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
legacy38 said:
Where are you getting your figures that constitute it being a "big problem"? In over eight years I do not personally know of a single case in which an officer was convicted in a DV case and had to be fired. I'm sure that it happens, but it sure isn't a "big" problem as it rarely happens.
In 1997, the Los Angeles Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation of the LAPD after a legal consultant named Bob Mullally leaked shocking LAPD personnel files to the press. These files documented scores of violent domestic crimes committed by LAPD officers. Mullally was so shocked by the LAPD's mishandling of this police family violence that he decided to violate the civil protective order in the case he was working on and turn the files over to the media, in the hopes of creating change in the LAPD.

Rather than reviewing the problem or recommending improvements, the LAPD sued Mullally for leaking the information.
http://www.womenandpolicing.org/violenceFS.asp

Oh, and Mulally served jail time for this. Some of the officers are still working.

My guess is that you are too young to have even been working when this law was passed. I was working, and it was a huge issue when this law was new. It is not an issue now because the law is old and those people have been weeded out.

It would have been an even bigger issue for the military.
I'm familiar of the instances of when the law was passed. My post was in response to the implication that it is a ongoing issue with officers constantly being fired for DV convictions. While I'm sure that it does happen from time to time, it is by no means a common place occurence, at least not in the eight plus years I've been on the job.

One could contact GA POST ( www.gapost.org ) and ask for the current numbers on officers losing their certifications and find out exactly.

I've only been on the job for eight plus years, but I was 27 when I went to the academy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
From the same link.

. . . during the feverish last days of the 104th Congress showdown. There, Rep. Bob Barr, Jr. (R-Ga.) picked up the gun ban and deleted the section exempting police and military. Mark Clark of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) has called this a "critical mistake" . . .
:lol:

National FOP president Gil Gallegos wrote in the "Wall Street Journal" (1/9/97), "Now, police offices may be penalized to a far greater degree than the general populace."
The "Minnesota Police Journal" (2/1/97) speculated that Barr, recipient of thousands of National Rifle Association campaign dollars, scuttled the gun ban exemption in retaliation for national police groups' differences with the NRA over repeal of the Brady Gun Control Law and the Waco-Ruby Ridge hearings. MPJ concluded, "We really need our exemption restored."
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Same link.
Wire services have carried reports of some police departments "scrambling" to complete record searches and taking some guns. "The Los Angeles Times" (12/28/96) reported some 40 sheriff's deputies, and as many LAPD officers, might be affected. But in many communities there seems to be no rush to comply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The Arlington Law Enforcement Institute reports that over 80% of police say they wouldn't favor firing a fellow officer for domestic assault, even after a second sustained complaint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here is the only actual study I could find on the issue. It cites earlier studies, on of which shows that domestic violence by police officers is even higher than for military families, and four times as high as the general population. That's no small difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Macktee said:
Wyoming must have lots of cops with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions and wants to put them back on the streets in patrol cars. Or, the governor's hard-drinking, bar-fighting and out-of-control nephew wants a CCW permit... :drink:
Or maybe they think this is a bad law and violates the U.S. Constitution? Maybe we have some principled politicians out west?

Remember when Montana refused to do the Brady stuff?
 

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Its not a problem now because depts go out of their way to not charge officers with DV. Don't even try to tell me it doesn't happen. I know better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
http://www.trib.com/articles/2008/03/16 ... 023662.txt

The state of Wyoming this week will ask a federal appeals court in Denver to uphold a state law that allows people convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to regain their firearms rights.

Federal law specifies that those convicted of domestic violence can't own guns. But it also says that states have authority to restore gun rights to people whose convictions are expunged or set aside.

In the Wyoming dispute, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has balked at accepting a state law that seeks to allow people convicted of domestic violence charges to regain their firearms rights through a state court proceeding.
 
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