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Past issues

Old charge blocks weapons permit

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Posted: Sunday, February 17, 2013 12:00 am

A Hayden resident believes his rights were violated when he was disqualified from obtaining a concealed weapons permit because of a felony charge from over 40 years ago.

"Why are you trying to stop me from buying a gun, just because I'm charged with a crime?" said Frank Burnette.

A spokesman for the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, however, insists the agency is following state law and Burnette has options to correct the situation.

"By no means do we want to restrict or keep people from obtaining a concealed weapon permit," said Lt. Stu Miller.

"However, if they have certain crimes on their criminal history, such as a felony charge, then we cannot issue a permit."

Burnette, who moved to Hayden in 2008, applied for a concealed weapons permit at the Sheriff's Department in mid December.

Although he already owns several guns, Burnette said he was only recently motivated to carry a weapon after reading articles about recent break-ins.

"We've been gun people all our life," said the 64-year-old, a Vietnam veteran and retired from the Army. "That's another reason we moved to Idaho. Other states are real bad on gun laws."

But Burnette received a letter this week from the Sheriff's Department stating that he was disqualified from obtaining a CWP.

The letter states that the issue is a felony charge against Burnette from 1967 in Lake County, Ind.

The letter specifies that Burnette must provide a disposition - the final determination on a criminal charge - for the charge, and seek a removal or reduction of the federal charge from his criminal history.

Burnette insists there is no disposition available, due to the nature of how he was tried.

That poses a problem.

Miller stated that under Idaho law, individuals convicted of a felony are not eligible for a CWP.

If their criminal history states that they were charged with a felony but never convicted, or that the charge was reduced and is no longer a felony, such individuals can obtain a permit.

If the charge is pending, or if there is no disposition, "we can't issue a permit," Miller stated.

"What we told Mr. Burnette was that he needed to contact the state in which there was a felony charge and get it cleaned up and possibly expunged, or have them enter a disposition of acquitted, if that was the case," Miller stated. "Then his criminal history would reflect that, and we could proceed with the permitting process."

Burnette said he doesn't think that is possible.

He wasn't convicted of the felony charge, he said. He recalls the judge treating him kindly over the auto theft charge. Burnette had been a dumb 18-year-old who couldn't resist a dare, he had explained in court.

The judge decided to try Burnette as a juvenile and put him on probation, he said. As Burnette recalls, the judge decided against providing a disposition, to avoid interpretation that Burnette had been convicted of a felony.

When the Press requested confirmation of the case details, staff at Lake County Juvenile Probation said information from juvenile records can't be released without a subpoena.

Burnette said he hasn't been able to expunge his record.

"When something is done as a juvenile, they have to keep the records sealed," said Burnette.

Lake County Juvenile Division staff said expunging a juvenile record can be done, though, and requires an application, a background check and a court appearance.

Miller noted that the FBI can also expunge records.

Burnette said he didn't have trouble getting a CWP in Indiana or Arizona, when he lived in those states.

He also has successfully purchased several guns without a hitch, he added.

"What burns my butt is they're assuming you're guilty," Burnette said of his unsuccessful permit application.

He is looking into filing a lawsuit against the Sheriff's Department, he said.

Miller confirmed that denial of a CWP isn't something Burnette can appeal.

"It's not an appeal issue," he stated. "We follow state laws regarding concealed weapons permits."

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  • JoeIdaho posted at 9:55 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    I see, "bionic".
    IF you are a felon, you give up the right to protect your family.
    THAT is what is dumb about America, right there on display, folks.

  • bionic man posted at 3:57 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Pure and simple.....You do the crime, you pay the time....regardless of the duration... The only one you have to blame and can blame is yourself......Quit putting the blame on society and face the fact of what you did. The only one that will change what you did is "you." Live with it and make the best of your mistake and move on. Life goes on and only matters what you make of it.

  • meanie posted at 12:05 pm on Tue, Feb 19, 2013.

    meanie Posts: 80

    WOW, kBled... reading your rant/statement or whatever you would like to call it , is pathetic. It almost sounds as though you wear the badge of being a victum. You are allowing yourself to be in the victum position. STOP IT... You are not a victum here. Yes you have done your crime and spent your time, sounds like you need to get over it more then your community or the area you live in. If you believe that you deserve a second chance then live as though you are getting one. No one ever said it would be easy stepping out of being in Jail/Prison and have it be handed to you on a platter " Hoorah for him he did his time now give him a life" , a life has to be earned, and when you try to take it the " easy way out" and it doesn't work for you , then I think you need to find another solution. Go back to school. That is always an option. You may not get the job you want or you think you deserve, and that is just starting over and working your way back up. I have a friend that did some time for a felony , they came out and pulled up their big girl panties and decided how they wanted to live and now is working their booty off and making it good. I am so very proud of this person, they don't soak off the system to support their kids. This person works hard, it may not be the dream job of choice but this person is doing it. You can do it too. Quit saying how everyone and everywhere is making you pay still. Yes it may be hard , and yes there will be knocks along the way, but if you believe you can then you will. If you believe the world is against you then it will be. Change your way of thinking and it will change things around you. I promise!!!

  • kBled posted at 8:36 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    kBled Posts: 70

    Having spent a few years in Idaho's correctional system, the biggest irritation is not that I can't own a firearm. I wouldn't mind skeet-shooting but it's not something I must do. My problem with our justice system is YOU. NEVER. STOP. SERVING. TIME. It doesn't end when you're released. That's just the beginning. Then you've got to figure out where to live that will accept someone with a felony record. Then you've got to find a job that won't laugh you out the door when they realize you have a felony record. It goes on and on and on. I understand that there are reasons these policies are in place, people don't want to live around drug dealers or hire someone who they think is going to steal from them. But Idaho does not have a particularly robust process for expungement; once you're convicted (or even charged in some cases) you're marked for life.

    Particularly in today's job market, this is the long and short of your employment chances: non-existent. There is no reason to take a risk on an ex-con when there are 50 non-felons waiting to do the same thing for the same wage. How would one expect to ever be compensated for the cost of incarceration if you have no chance of finding lucrative employment? It costs somewhere around $50,000 a year to put someone in prison, depending on their security level. That's more than most jobs in this state even pay.

    It is disheartening to say the least to be released back into the community only to realize that what society seemed to want in the first place was to just throw you away; a bullet in the back of the head and an unmarked grave. That would not anger me as much as what we have now. This, this is torture. You break a person's legs and then you command them to run. And then you yell at them when they aren't very fast. If you want to serve justice by the end of a gun, then petition your legislature. Stop lying to yourselves and acting as if anyone who passes through our nightmare of a system has any real chance at lasting, meaningful contributions to society. I'll consider myself extremely fortunate to ever have a job in my lifetime that will allow me to qualify even paying taxes, let alone enough of them to reimburse what it cost to incarcerate me.

    I suppose this is a rant more than anything, but I feel trapped between a rock and hard spot when I see such vitriol about past criminal offenses. I've given everything the state has asked for, from the monetary recompense to the 3 years of my life. I don't have anything else left. If you wanted my life, you should have taken it. Just please don't drag out the punishment forever like we do now; my crimes were not of the nature that they enacted such damage to the victims. They were quite happy to *make* money off of me actually, but that's a story for a different day.

  • Screen Name posted at 5:38 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 972

    OK, just so I am clear: Are you saying that a person convicted of a felony involving the illegal possession of a gun, or the use of a gun in the commission of a crime, including but not limited to murder, robbery, and rape, should not have their right to possess a gun after being released from prison curtailed in any way shape or form?

    If that is your position, I am glad you don't have the authority to pass any laws.

  • IdahoMan posted at 5:28 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    IdahoMan Posts: 105

    "I appreciate your libertarian stance, but the reality is that felons
    give up their rights when they commit a felony."

    Bull. And you cannot have individuals serving a life-sentence("Felony conviction") walking around in society with free people, and then demand everybody prove their innocence("Background checks") prior to being able to exercise their rights. Once a person has paid their debt and is out of confinement, they should assumed to have all the benefits of a free man.

    "Would you propose to let the mentally ill, children, senile
    elderly, violent criminals, etc. have guns.."

    "Mentally ill"/"senile"? Who decides what that is? "Violent criminals"? Why are they not in jail?

    You falsely make it sound that without a direct government regulation scheme dictating who can/cannot of firearms, that "regulation" cannot be achieved. You like many others forget the nature of government, and that there are certain areas it is supposed to be prohibited from getting involved in.

    I agree with what David Codrea (a pro-gun author): "If a person cannot be trusted with a firearm, he should not be free in society without a custodian."

    Having government dictate who can/cannot have guns will lead to abuse. There was a time where you could buy a firearm through the mail, and there were no "prohibited persons" government lists. And many states are moving away from the permit system to.

    "If so, you are in a tiny minority."

    I disagree. But thank goodness we are a Republic and not a Democracy. I still have rights despite what the majority might think.

  • IdahoMan posted at 4:53 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    IdahoMan Posts: 105

    First "Felons"...
    Then "violent misdemeanors"...
    Then all misdemeanors...
    Then anyone the government decides is "mentally unfit" (how Soviet can you get?)...
    Then anyone the government has on a "watch list"...

    Again, another perfect example of why government is prohibited under the 2nd Amendment from getting involved in this sort of thing. It will only lead to abuse, that's what it is for. It has never, never, never, never, never, NEVER been about preventing crime or "safety".

    The more regulations you have, the more abuse you have, more innocent people are inconvenienced and made helpless, and bad guys and government still have the firearms. It gets worse and worse.

    "Prohibited Persons" lists need to be done away with, as do permits/licenses and any form of paperwork involved in the purchase/transfer of a firearm.

    And to you snotty, conditioned, spiteful "progressives" that are bound to respond with some typical disingenuous mockery: Why don't you do us all a favor and move to one of the Utopias you created where violent crime is unheard of.. Like Chicago, LA, NYC, or DC.

  • bionic man posted at 3:18 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    bionic man Posts: 347

    Pure and simple, a felon is a felon. Federal law prohibits " felons" from possessing guns. This garbage about doing something stupid when ( on the pre-text ) of being a minor is unacceptable. The reason we have idiots running around killing people is because of the justice system. Until criminal law is upheld, where the criminal is punished, this action will continue.

    Anyone charged and convicted of a felony should have the rights of gun ownership taken away. As a matter of fact, anyone charged with a criminal act should be required to pay the state/federal/individuals assulted the full monetary compensation for incarceration and legal fees involved.

    Criminal Justice is just that, Justice for the criminals. We need to change the laws to "JUSTICE FOR THE VICTIM."

    And for those of you that got a CWP or permission to have a firearm, well that shows the an example of how inept our government is.

    Wild're full of BS... no way, no how...deputy sheriff ????? wanna be. As for TSA, they hire a lot of ex-felons, try to help them re-adjust to do something positive.

    Goes back to the fact... " YOU DO THE CRIME, YOU PAY THE TIME." Unfortunately there are too many bleeding hearts and lawyers that believe the punishment is too harsh. We need to go back to the " mideval ages" where things are prosecuted upon conviction. Definately cut down on crime.

  • wild bill posted at 12:00 pm on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    wild bill Posts: 1

    This same thing happened to me. I was charged in error in 1972...40 years ago, and was denied a CC here in Idaho. hearing and no court appearance. Was dropped when the responsible party stepped in, but the charge remains on the books. Afterwards, I became a deputy sheriff, had CC permits in Indiana, Colorado and Utah. Worked for the TSA with an FBI Background check. Was o.k. with them. Was denied here in Idaho. Weird at best!

  • voxpop posted at 11:30 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    No problem with a man earning their right to carry after a felony conviction. What we need are mandatory sentences for anyone convicted of any crime while in possession of a firearm. Those people should go away for a minimum of 25yrs. No judicial review, no parole. That's worked relatively well in other states and it would work here. After conviction his assets should be seized. sold off, and used to pay for his incarceration.

  • The Simple Truth posted at 11:26 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    The Simple Truth Posts: 563

    Well, a felon. And a disturbed Vietnam bet. Wants a gun. What could possibly go wrong?

  • haydenator posted at 10:49 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    haydenator Posts: 205

    Based on the law his picture shows him committing a felony. He is NOT allowed to posses a gun. Personally I feel once a man\woman is off any form of probation or parole they should have those rights restored. There could be a case for violent criminals not getting rights restored. I do have a problem with the law that takes a mans weapons for simply being accused of domestic violence. They take a persons guns for simply being accused, that is not the American way.

  • Triumph posted at 10:23 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Triumph Posts: 673

    Really Spudio? You are the one who gets to decide who needs and doesn't need a gun? Actually, last time I read the 2nd amendment (which was a couple of days ago) it doesn't say that guns can be only owned by people who "need" a gun.

  • IdahoMan posted at 10:14 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    IdahoMan Posts: 105

    "Are you saying people convicted of felonies should have the right to possess guns?"

    Of course people that are in jail should not have a right to possess guns while there (which is were convicted felons reside), don't be silly.

    Once they have paid and are out however, they are no longer convicts but free men. "No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms".

  • SPUDIO posted at 9:25 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    SPUDIO Posts: 101

    He really doesn't need a gun, and how the heck do you call this "liberal whining" local I'd say this fellow doesn't have a liberal bone in his body.We have enough jacknuggets packing out there we don't need anymore.

  • Bob Loblaw posted at 9:21 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Bob Loblaw Posts: 413

    Suing the Sheriff for doing his job? Sounds like this guy's judgement hasn't improved any since he stole that car. How about getting your record expunged and then re-applying for your concealed-carry permit?

    IM - I appreciate your libertarian stance, but the reality is that felons give up their rights when they commit a felony. This is for our protection. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. But a free-for-all is not freedom. It is chaos. Freedom requires a lot of responsibility; responsibility that someone committing a felony does not exhibit. Would you propose to let the mentally ill, children, senile elderly, violent criminals, etc. have guns because it is their "God-given" right? If so, you are in a tiny minority.

  • local guy posted at 8:18 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    local guy Posts: 26

    I don't know what the first rant comment is all about. Looks like some nutcase. Other than that, if you are a felon you can't have access to firearms unless you have a special clearance from the courts. Sounds like this guy needs to stop his liberal whining and do what is necessary to get the proper clearances. That is what the existing gun laws are all about. We don't need any new ones.

  • Screen Name posted at 4:34 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    Screen Name Posts: 972

    Are you saying people convicted of felonies should have the right to possess guns? What about people convicted of felonies which involved the illegal use of a gun, should they have the right to bear arms? Is any restriction permissible?

  • IdahoMan posted at 1:12 am on Sun, Feb 17, 2013.

    IdahoMan Posts: 105

    "Prohibited Persons" lists should not exist, and the government is supposed to be prohibited from getting involved in this as it will only lead to abuse. You do not "keep guns out of the wrong hands" you keep the wrong hands out of society.

    And as far as Idaho CWPs are concerned, why are people being fingerprinted like criminals and assigned special cards in order to exercise a sacred right that is theirs already? That's outrageous...

    Frank Burnette, you can Open Carry and not be harassed by the unconstitutional CC restrictions. Idaho needs so-called "Constitutional Carry".

    One other thing: NRA/GOP sell-outs who's rebuttal to gun-control is "enforce existing laws" and supporting things like "Project Exile" aren't doing us any favors. These past gun-control laws are unjust, unconstitutional, and need to be taken off the books.

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