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View Full Version : Issues with PD Chief for my FFL-Help


general jacks
10-28-2009, 10:41 AM
These are excerpts from the Police Chief's denial letter of my FFL," In the City of #%$##%#, there used to be gun dealers who sold guns from their residence, but those have been eliminated" "The city municipal Code...requires approval by the Chief of Police" and finally, "In this case, I must deny your request for endorsement to operate a firearms business"

The municipal Code states, "Such licenses shall be issued in the form prescribed by the Attorney General" and "The said licenses shall be issued only after a report in writing concerning said prospective licensee has been made by the Chief of Police to the City Manager. Said Linceses shall not be issued to any person who: A. Has been convicted of a felony B. Has been convicted of any violations of the Dangerous Weapons Control Law; or C. Is not of good moral character"

Looks pretty clear to me that the Chief is basing his denial on his personal feelings or an unwritten law.

I plan on moving forward to battle the city, but am looking for more input.

Thanks

dantodd
10-28-2009, 10:44 AM
You will have to hire an attorney I suspect. However; since the code says "shall" issue unless one of the descriptions A-C apply it should be a winnable case wrt the city ordinance. Of course, that is based solely on the portions posted.

Flintlock Tom
10-28-2009, 10:45 AM
Based solely on the municipal code you site, it seems that the CoP is only supposed to make a recommendation to the City Manager. I don't see any authority to "approve" or "deny".

Mitch
10-28-2009, 10:47 AM
Looks pretty clear to me that the Chief is basing his denial on his personal feelings or an unwritten law.

Maybe. But FFLs are meant to be issued to "dealers," and in many eyes a "dealer" is a business; and in many cities it is illegal to operate retail businesses except in specially zoned areas.

So your fight may be with the Planning Department, not the PD.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 10:51 AM
Maybe. But FFLs are meant to be issued to "dealers," and in many eyes a "dealer" is a business; and in many cities it is illegal to operate retail businesses except in specially zoned areas.

So your fight may be with the Planning Department, not the PD.

Do you really think these cities deny licenses to eBay retailers who operate out of their homes?

Glock22Fan
10-28-2009, 11:10 AM
You will have to hire an attorney I suspect. However; since the code says "shall" issue unless one of the descriptions A-C apply it should be a winnable case wrt the city ordinance. Of course, that is based solely on the portions posted.

I (politely) disagree. It does not say "shall issue unless one of these three clauses apply." It just gives three examples where the license shall not be issued, but it does not say this is exclusive. Therefore, it would seem to leave room for some discretion. To me, your explanation is a bit like parsing the second and deciding that only the militia shall keep and bear arms.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 11:14 AM
I (politely) disagree. It does not say "shall issue unless one of these three clauses apply." It just gives three examples where the license shall not be issued, but it does not say this is exclusive. Therefore, it would seem to leave room for some discretion. To me, your explanation is a bit like parsing the second and deciding that only the militia shall keep and bear arms.

It does say "shall issue" in the quoted section. "Such licenses shall be issued..." It does not say "Such licenses MAY be issued" which would make it a discretionary licensing, this is exactly the wording that we are fighting wrt CCWs right now.

kf6tac
10-28-2009, 11:20 AM
It does say "shall issue" in the quoted section. "Such licenses shall be issued..." It does not say "Such licenses MAY be issued" which would make it a discretionary licensing, this is exactly the wording that we are fighting wrt CCWs right now.

But it says "shall issue only after," which generally really means "shall not issue until." In this context the "shall" is not an affirmative command, but a negative one.

Mitch
10-28-2009, 12:03 PM
Do you really think these cities deny licenses to eBay retailers who operate out of their homes?

eBay retailers don't ask permission from the city so never appear on their radar.

Try getting a city business license for your kitchen table eBay operation and see what they say. My city may well grant the license (because Costa Mesa is awesome), but most probably wouldn't.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 12:04 PM
eBay retailers don't ask permission from the city so never appear on their radar.

Try getting a city business license for your kitchen table eBay operation and see what they say. My city may well grant the license, but most probably wouldn't.

Mine did.

Glock22Fan
10-28-2009, 12:09 PM
It does say "shall issue" in the quoted section. "Such licenses shall be issued..." It does not say "Such licenses MAY be issued" which would make it a discretionary licensing, this is exactly the wording that we are fighting wrt CCWs right now.

"The said licenses shall be issued only after a report in writing concerning said prospective licensee has been made by the Chief of Police to the City Manager. "

If I read this dantodd's way, the licenses shall be issued even if the report in writing is negative. The report has to be made. It doesn't say it has to be positive. Clearly this is not intended to be the case.

The following paragraph delineates three barriers to issue. It does not say that they are the only barriers. If it said "the license shall be issued unless one of these three is true" then I would agree with dantodd. But it doesn't, and that leaves it open for the chief to think of other barriers, such as (hypothetical example, not saying that the OP intends this) it is intended to run the business out of premises that are used for, say, gambling, prostitution and drinking. Clearly most of us would agree that was an unsuitable place for a FFL to operate, even if the other three conditions were met.

Dantodd is reading the examples as limiting the issue in the same way that some people read the preamble to the 2nd as limiting the scope of the 2nd. I disagree - but until it goes to court, who knows what a judge would say.

dantodd
10-28-2009, 12:15 PM
Hopefully someone with more legal experience than either of us will chime in. Of course without the full ordinance there is really no way to know.

Glock22Fan
10-28-2009, 12:24 PM
Hopefully someone with more legal experience than either of us will chime in. Of course without the full ordinance there is really no way to know.

Right. Actually, I think you could find lawyers who could argue this either way, depending upon who was paying them. It would be the judges up through the appeal chain that would make the real determination. From my experience (and others), I think that it is fair to say that many judges would rule against any pro-gun argument, however sound we think it is.

Barabas
10-28-2009, 1:11 PM
An FFL operating out of a location that is used for drinking, prostitution and gambling sounds like the kind of shop I'd like to do business with!

hoffmang
10-28-2009, 5:58 PM
I'd recommend a quick call to Jason Davis who is the lawyer most experienced with these sorts of issues. I doubt it would cost you very much for him to fix the problem.

-Gene

7x57
10-28-2009, 7:48 PM
An FFL operating out of a location that is used for drinking, prostitution and gambling sounds like the kind of shop I'd like to do business with!

For a lot of Calgunners it would be a sort of convenience supermart. :rolleyes:

On the bright side, I bet if those are the choices my wife would tell me to take up drinking and gambling. :D

7x57

sfpcservice
10-28-2009, 7:59 PM
I don't see what the issue is, it's Stockton! It's not like he want's to open a Gun Store/firing range in San Francisco! ;-)

dantodd
10-29-2009, 7:31 AM
I'd recommend a quick call to Jason Davis who is the lawyer most experienced with these sorts of issues. I doubt it would cost you very much for him to fix the problem.

-Gene

Good to see it's likely fixable. Seems difficult to believe the police chief or anyone can pick and choose which business licenses to issue beyond codified zoning restrictions.

sholling
10-29-2009, 9:59 AM
What can hold you back is that even a kitchen table gun business requires that customers pick up their guns at your home. That generates parking and traffic problems and cause many cities to deny a business license. No business license no FFL.