Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sorry, Can't Do Nothing For You In California And Life's About To Suck For You In Michigan Too.

Met someone with a thorny firearms problem.

He's been an avid shooter for years, responsible, and all that stuff. Has bought many a firearm. Appears to be a pretty much decent peaceful fellow.

Until he applied for his Michigan Concealed Pistol License.

That's when he found about about a misdemeanor he had over 16 years ago in California. No trouble with the law since then. I stated I can't help him with any California legal issues as I'm not a California attorney, but he wanted to tell me the tale.

The misdemeanor was based on a dispute between him, his live-in girlfriend and her not-live-in ex-boyfriend who had friend status(it's California, just go with it).

You see, according to him, the boyfriend (this part was apparently verified with later criminal charges) had been busy stealing and selling his guns and other possessions to buy pharmaceutical items which are less than legal to purchase. This led to a vociferous dispute to which the boyfriend called police and claimed that both he and the girlfriend had been threatened with violence by our guy (note, no physical contact, merely an alleged threat as verified in the court papers), and the prosecutor decided to pile on the charges.

Some of you see where this is going - it starts with Lauten and ends in berg, as in the Lautenberg Amendment.

But then it gets weirder.

See, California doesn't like domestic violence and if you're convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor you lose your gun rights there for 10 years (This is in addition to the Lautenberg lifetime ban. Again, California.

Now, the guy pled out to what he thought was a simple misdemeanor threatening charge and dropping of other charges, doing so according to him only because he had to leave the state to work as his employer required the move, and he was told at the time that it was not a domestic violence charge. Indeed, the terms of sentence of probation even give him his firearms back after 1 year - 9 less than if it had been a domestic violence conviction. He did in fact get his firearms back after one year and thought he was all done.

Unfortunately, sometime after he did the plea and completed all the terms of his probation, someone in the court system stamped the file "Domestic Violence" and guess what? Yep, it's picked up on the CPL background check, and that's when he first learned it was considered to be a domestic violence conviction.

Amazingly enough, it is not picked up by NICS as he's been able to buy firearms from dealers for over 16 years since the conviction date with no problem on NICS, including filling out Form 4473.

At that point I told him that:

1. He needs to get a California attorney ASAP to get this sorted out if possible and try for an expungement or to fix the classification of the case (But, there's apparently a twist in California law or procedure that makes their expungement not a true expungement for Lautenberg purposes and good luck with fixing a 16 year-old case where you pled to it); and

2. He needs to transfer his firearms immediately out of his possession as unbeknownst to him all this time he's committing a felony by owning firearms.

Some laws have very bad intended consequences, and this guy fell right int one of them.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Oh damn... Talk about getting bit in the butt!