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macjmillsx
12-30-2010, 2:45 PM
Hello All,

I have a question regarding my ownership eligibility. I will try to keep this as brief as possible, let me begin by explaining my situation.

I recently submitted a PFEC to the DOJ because I was curious as to my status with regard to gun ownership. I was curious because in 2001 I made some very poor youthful decisions while in the Air Force that resulted in a bad conduct discharge by way of general court martial for wrongful use and possession of controlled substance.

I have always been curious how this offense was viewed by State and Federal law, and have never been able to get a definite answer from any lawyers I spoke to both civilian and military.
Since 2001 I have been a registered voter, participated in jury service, and passed several employment related background checks including a live-scan for a guard certification. (And yes, I have been a productive, responsible, gainfully employed, family man with no legal infractions whatsoever since my 17-18yr old blunder in 2001)

I received the results of my PFEC on November 27th, the result of which was that I was eligible to both purchase and own firearms. So I went to my local firearms dealer and purchased my first handgun.

Today was the final day of my waiting period and while on my way to pick up my gun I received a call from my dealer informing me the DOJ had placed it on a hold.
I called the DOJ and spoke with a very nice lady who seemed quite perplexed by the situation but did indicate that it had something to do with the Air Force, and that they were waiting to hear back from them.

I am slightly frustrated because I submitted the PFEC and only proceeded in light of the results that indicated I was eligible. If it turns out that I am in fact NOT eligible, aside from the $20 for the PFEC I am also out $25 for the HSC, $25 for the DROS, and 20% of $599 for the handgun purchase (the dealer keeps 20% on cancelled purchases regardless of reason).

I was hoping to glean any info or insight someone with more knowledge and experience than I have with these situations might have to offer... any advice would be much appreciated!

I apologize for the long read, I didn't intend for this to be a rant.
Thanks again for any advice, info, or comments anyone may have to share!:)

GrizzlyGuy
12-30-2010, 3:28 PM
See here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=4927996&postcount=100), and read especially the bolded part. Based on that 9th circuit decision in United States v. Purdy (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1040384.html), your prior use and possession of the controlled substance in 2001 should be far enough in the past to be a non-issue.

You said "bad conduct discharge". I assume that isn't the same as a dishonorable discharge? A dishonorable discharge is a lifetime prohibiting condition per federal law. AFAIK no other form of discharge is prohibiting.

NightOwl
12-30-2010, 5:24 PM
You said "bad conduct discharge". I assume that isn't the same as a dishonorable discharge? A dishonorable discharge is a lifetime prohibiting condition per federal law. AFAIK no other form of discharge is prohibiting.

No, there is a difference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_discharge

dustoff31
12-30-2010, 7:21 PM
While there is a difference between a DD and a BCD. The verdict of a general court martial does result in a federal record of conviction. They may be trying to figure out/verify exactly what the charges against you were, and whether or not they amounted to a felony.

macjmillsx
12-30-2010, 9:56 PM
See here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showpost.php?p=4927996&postcount=100), and read especially the bolded part. Based on that 9th circuit decision in United States v. Purdy (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1040384.html), your prior use and possession of the controlled substance in 2001 should be far enough in the past to be a non-issue.

You said "bad conduct discharge". I assume that isn't the same as a dishonorable discharge? A dishonorable discharge is a lifetime prohibiting condition per federal law. AFAIK no other form of discharge is prohibiting.

Thank you for the info. I find it quite helpful and hopeful!
Indeed my indiscretion was an isolated and youthful mistake to say the least.
I did receive a bad conduct discharge which although definitely isn't good, isn't a dishonorable discharge as specifically addressed in the DROS paperwork.

While there is a difference between a DD and a BCD. The verdict of a general court martial does result in a federal record of conviction. They may be trying to figure out/verify exactly what the charges against you were, and whether or not they amounted to a felony.

I agree, this is in fact the specific detail I have thus far been unable to clarify in speaking to various civilian and military lawyers. A general court martial conviction undoubtably and regrettably results in a federal record... While I have been working with a VA lawyer to upgrade my discharge and repair some of the damage I managed to do, the fact remains that I received a PFEC stating I was eligible, and now I am unsure of my eligibility and rights in spite of the PFEC check.

I realize that I really have no choice but to wait and see as to what the results are going to be, but in the mean time I welcome any foresight and knowledge I can gain by sharing my circumstances.... as I previously stated, I thank everyone for their info and comments regarding my situation.:)

CaliforniaLiberal
12-31-2010, 4:45 AM
Welcome to CalGuns Macjmillsx.

The California DOJ has been known to screw up now and then. Just because your PEEC went through OK is not a guarantee. Usually the system works fine for routine, simple business, but perhaps your situation is odd enough to overwhelm the bureaucracy. Good Luck and hope everything is resolved quickly.

jtmkinsd
12-31-2010, 11:07 AM
The reason they put you on a delay is they just need to do more investigation...you will probably receive an "Approval After Delay" when they check the facts...How long will it take? Anywhere between a day and a year...no joke...it all depends on how quickly the Air Force gets the information to DOJ...once your approval comes through, you'll have 30 days to pick up your firearm. :D

macjmillsx
01-01-2011, 10:12 AM
Welcome to CalGuns Macjmillsx.

The California DOJ has been known to screw up now and then. Just because your PEEC went through OK is not a guarantee. Usually the system works fine for routine, simple business, but perhaps your situation is odd enough to overwhelm the bureaucracy. Good Luck and hope everything is resolved quickly.

Thanks! I hope so... On the other hand if I'm ultimately denied I'll be out of pocket nearly $200 for the "learning experience". I'm sure the DOJ will offer no recourse or compensation for my trouble.

The reason they put you on a delay is they just need to do more investigation...you will probably receive an "Approval After Delay" when they check the facts...How long will it take? Anywhere between a day and a year...no joke...it all depends on how quickly the Air Force gets the information to DOJ...once your approval comes through, you'll have 30 days to pick up your firearm. :D

That's pretty much the gist I got from the lady at DOJ. That is also the scary part because I have been trying to get a copy of my DD214 since 2003 and was only able to get it last year with the help of a VA lawyer!
My dealer told me if it isn't cleared in 30 days they have to DROS it again?

jtmkinsd
01-01-2011, 12:24 PM
That's pretty much the gist I got from the lady at DOJ. That is also the scary part because I have been trying to get a copy of my DD214 since 2003 and was only able to get it last year with the help of a VA lawyer!
My dealer told me if it isn't cleared in 30 days they have to DROS it again?

This is incorrect...once you are on a delay...the clock stops...once you receive the approval after delay, you get a fresh 30 days to pick up your firearm. This is an agreement between BATFE and DOJ so you will not find it "written" anywhere...but it is the way it works.

As far as your DD214...you can order them through the National Archives website here: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/

macjmillsx
01-01-2011, 12:43 PM
This is incorrect...once you are on a delay...the clock stops...once you receive the approval after delay, you get a fresh 30 days to pick up your firearm. This is an agreement between BATFE and DOJ so you will not find it "written" anywhere...but it is the way it works.

As far as your DD214...you can order them through the National Archives website here: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/

The DD214 thing was a can of worms and a half! I petitioned the AF records archive in Colorado which referred me to the Military archives in DC which referred me to my final duty station who referred me back to Colorado who told me if I didn't get a response in 90 days that I most likely won't get my records! Six years later I was able to track them down with the help of the VA... Makes me nervous as to how long it will take them to work things out with the DOJ.

I must have misunderstood my dealer, he made it sound like if the gun sits in his shop on hold for 30 days I have to DROS it again. Having that time frame freeze while the gun is on hold makes more sense to me.