A 27-year-old complaint that led to no criminal charges apparently is enough to keep you from getting a concealed weapon license in Michigan.
Matthew Askins, who has no criminal record, had his application for a concealed carry permit turned down because he had been questioned by police about incidents involving an ex-girlfriend in 1988 and other incidents during the 1990s.
Even though he lacks a criminal record, the Kent County Concealed Weapon Licensing Board or gun board voted 3-0 on March 5 to deny Askins a permit, Michigan Live reported. Michigan residents have to go before such boards if their application is “red flagged” and they want a concealed carry license.
“I’ve never done anything wrong,” Askins told the website. “Half the time, I called the police department.”
No Criminal Record Needed to Deny Gun Permits
The board voted that way because police had investigated allegations that Askins had harassed an ex-wife and a former girlfriend and allegedly tried to hire someone to injure an ex-girlfriend in 1988. The board also asked him about a suspected breaking and entering and a suspected theft – all involving ex-girlfriends or an ex-wife.
Police investigated all the incidents at the time and never charged him.
“This is a pattern of behavior of 24 years,” board member Wallace Duffin said of the reason why the body turned down Askins’ application. Michigan Live described the hearing as an “interrogation.”
“It’s crazy [to be denied] because I’ve had a couple little incidents,” Askins told the website. “[Gun board members] are the ones that think they know it all. Those guys don’t know what they’re talking about.”
New Law Will Get Rid of Gun Boards
The gun boards are composed of prosecutors, sheriff’s deputies and state police officers. Their task is to screen out people they believe should not have a permit but who normally would not be prohibited from having one.
Around 363 Michigan residents or about 1 percent of applicants were denied gun licenses between June 2012 and June 2013 because of gun boards, Michigan Live reported.
But Askins likely will be able to get a concealed carry permit in December, when gun boards will be abolished under legislation passed by a Republican legislature and signed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican. Under the new law, concealed carry permits will be issued by county clerks and police. A person can be denied a permit only if he would be denied one under the statute.
Michigan gunowners may have won the day, but supporters of gun rights in other states have now seen the danger of gun boards – and likely will fight the concept if it is proposed in their state.
Do you believe gun boards can serve a useful purpose – or are they another method to infringe on gun rights? Share your thoughts in the section below: