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Old March 1, 2009, 05:20 PM   #1
cube_zombie
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Not the first post I wanted to make

I was saving my first post for when I brought my new S&W M&P .45 home..That should have been Friday..I went that morning to the Sheriff's office to pick up my purchase permit..They told me my app had been put in a pending status due to an unresolved issue on my background check.

Back in '97 I was stationed at Ft. Knox and I used my military id as a base for a fake id..Stupid I know...I was 19 and I messed up..The bouncer took at the club..A couple of weeks later my platoon sgt took me down to CID and I spoke with a couple of investigators..After a couple of hours they told me I was stupid and to keep my nose clean and I went back to my unit where I got extra duty (don't remember if I landed an Article 15 over it or not..I think I did but I'm not sure as all of my paperwork was lost during Katrina)..2 years later I ETS'd and cleared Ft. Knox with no issues and I never heard anything else about the issue until Friday...

The folks at the Sheriff's office told me I needed to get a disposition before I could have my app reconsidered..I spent most of the day on the phone Friday trying to track that down. All the records have been archived in VA and I had to request them under the Freedom of Information Act..

For any LEO's, Lawyers in NC or any MP's...Did I totally screw myself..I'm not sure what to do if, worst case there is no disposition (is that possible?) or if it's an unfavorable disposition (is that possible since I was never arrested/tried for anything?).

I've been literally sick to my stomach over this since I found out..I told the investigator's back in '97 that I messed up and I took responsibility for it..This is the first time that I've bought a handgun and I honestly had no idea this would show up..

Sorry this had to be my first post...Thanks for any advice..
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Old March 1, 2009, 05:57 PM   #2
Bartholomew Roberts
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Caveat: I am not an LEO, a North Carolina Lawyer, or an MP - so my random Internet observations are worth what you paid for them.

According to what I can find by Google, the Sheriff must deny you a permit for a list of certain offenses; but there is also this last one:

"ONE WHO AFTER DUE INVESTIGATION, THE SHERIFF IN HIS SOLE DISCRETION, IS UNABLE TO SATISFY HIMSELF AS TO THE GOOD MORAL CHARACTER OF THE APPLICANT. THE FOLLOWING ARE EXAMPLES, BUT ARE NOT ALL INCLUSIVE, OF INCIDENTS THAT MAY DISQUALIFY AN APLICANT FROM ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT:
A. Misdemeanor convictions indicating assaultive or threatening behavior B. Convictions for offenses of fraud
C. Convictions for weapons related offenses
D. Convictions for DWI within three years of the application"

Looking at that, it looks like you need to convince the Sheriff of your good moral character and not irritate him. Given the "sole discretion" language, I would work really hard to get that disposition or if you cannot find it, ask the Sheriff what would be an acceptable alternative since he holds the key.

The other avenue is to look at the North Carolina Concealed Carry permit. If you have that, you do not need a handgun purchase permit and since that law is more recent (and shall-issue, IIRC), it may be more friendly to your particular set of circumstances.

Either way, this strikes me as the type of situation where a lawyer would be a good thing to have and could probably help you sort out the matter.
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Old March 2, 2009, 08:58 AM   #3
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An Article 15 is non-judicial punishment. If you didn't go to a Courts Martial and were never tried in court, or were never charged by civilian law, it should have no bearing in your situation. Did he specifically say that that was the reason for the deny of the purchase permit? How is that in your background check the law enforcement guys do? The military didn't sneek a less than honorable in on you did they. That's the only thing that I can see that would show up on a records check.
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Old March 2, 2009, 09:24 AM   #4
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Any kind of background check by a national agency, such as FBI or NCIS, will be seen by any other agency who runs your name for a background check in the form of a "flag"...for lack of a better term . An investigation can be anything from a routine clearance investigation to a criminal activity check by a law enforcement agency. This flag must be investigated manually by the agency who is running the background check and can cause a delay of anywhere from an hour up to several business days.

That said, manufacturing a fake ID from a military ID is quite a big deal. That is a federal crime. It will likely stay with you permanently. I would talk to a lawyer.

Last edited by Creature; March 2, 2009 at 09:33 AM.
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Old March 2, 2009, 09:26 AM   #5
vranasaurus
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Quote:
The military didn't sneek a less than honorable in on you did they.
There are five types of discharge from the military in order from best to worst they are: honorable, general (under honorable conditions), under other than honorable conditions, bad conduct, and dishonorable.

In order to be denied on the basis of a discharge the discharge must be dishonorable. That characterization can be given out only upon conviction by a general court-martial.

Any other level of discharge is not a basis for a firearms disability.

Now a bad conduct discharge could send up red flags. These can be handed out only after conviction by either a general or sepcial court-martial. A conviction in either court-martial could be the basis for a firearms disability depending upon the offense and it's maximum punishment. There are several crimes under the UCMJ where the maximum punishment includes a bad conduct discharge but less than 1 year confinement. But any offense in which more than one year confinement is authorized could result in a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge.

Any discharge that would result in a firearms disability could not be snuck in.

A general or other than honorable are the result of an administrative separation proceeding.

An article 15 is not in anyway a conviction the only way it could result in any negative discharge is if the commander initiated administrative separation proceedings against the Soldier for the misconduct that was the basis for the article 15. This could result in an other than honorable discharge but this does not create a firearms disability.

Hope this helps.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:36 PM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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vranasaurus, it appears he is being held up under NC state law, not federal law. Under the NC handgun permit process, it appears the county Sheriff has a great deal of discretion.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:43 PM   #7
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vranasaurus, it appears he is being held up under NC state law, not federal law. Under the NC handgun permit process, it appears the county Sheriff has a great deal of discretion.
Very true but the sherriff is still going to make sure that you meet the federal requirements.

I was merely answering the question posted about a possible negative discharge being the reason for the denial.

Besides an article 15 should not show up on a background check as they are not convictions.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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In NC, the sheriff is king when it comes to getting a handgun purchase permit.

In my home county, the Sherrif has made it so difficult to get a handgun permit that its almost like having a handgun ban. You are asked when you apply for a permit if you know the sherrif or a deputy personally, and will they vouch for you. If the answer is no, you dont get a permit. I got my CCW permit to bypass the sheriff completely. I recomend you try doing the same, if you cannot resolve this issue.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:52 PM   #9
vranasaurus
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So let me get this straight NC is a shall issue state for CCW but not for purchase permits?

That makes absolutely no sense.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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Cube_zombie, welcome. It's a shame that you're stuck in this situation.

Rather than relying on an internet forum for legal advice (worth what you pay for it... ), you might want to consult an actual NC lawyer about these issues, including the possibility of getting a CCW as a way around the problem; it would be a drag to be denied for that, as well, because of some legal/recordkeeping hoops you weren't quite patient enough to jump through.

Best of luck with this.
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Old March 2, 2009, 01:12 PM   #11
Dustin0
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Move to another state. Like Kentucky or Tennessee its alot easier to get firearms.
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Old March 2, 2009, 01:55 PM   #12
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Some observations:

1. If you were the recipient of an Article 15, you'd definitely remember it.
2. vranasaurus is spot on in his descriptions of military justice. One other thing: the only discharges you can receive administratively without courts-martial are honorable and general. General is an administrative type of separation.
3. Conviction under courts-martial (if the sentence CAN be punished by confinement of one year or more) carries the same weight as a felony conviction. If you got that, you're screwed.
4. If, indeed, you received no punishment--on paper, that is; being on the 1SG's poop list for a while does NOT count--how in the heck did they find out about it?

You see, the background check for CCW/CPL usually consists of only a NCIC check. If you come back with a hit, then they can do a "Triple-I" on you for your criminal "pedigree".

So, how did the Sheriff find out about your military records? Unless you are applying for a Law Enforcement position, they are usually not available to outside agencies.
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Old March 2, 2009, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
So let me get this straight NC is a shall issue state for CCW but not for purchase permits?

That makes absolutely no sense.
Welcome to North Carolina Firearms Law.

As Bartholomew said earlier, the CHP law is more recent and "shall issue". The original purchase permit law is a leftover from Jim Crow and was intended to allow the sheriff to deny handguns to "undesirables". It should be repealed.......
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Old March 2, 2009, 03:21 PM   #14
vranasaurus
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Quote:
2. vranasaurus is spot on in his descriptions of military justice. One other thing: the only discharges you can receive administratively without courts-martial are honorable and general. General is an administrative type of separation.
This is not correct. An other than honorable conditions discharge is adminstrative and it does not result from a court martial. Check AR 635-200 or AR 135-178.
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Old March 2, 2009, 03:39 PM   #15
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Cube Zombie:

PM me. I am an attorney in NC who may be able to help you out. I represent a lot of folks in your situation.
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Old March 2, 2009, 03:39 PM   #16
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This all sounds a bit odd to me. Like there is a part of the story we are not being told. How would a local sheriff even find out about an Article 15, much less any incident where you did not receive an article in your file? I worked in CID and we do not usually just tell people to behave themselves. We either pursue charges or not pursue them. We did not give slaps on the wrist for childish behavior. How did the event even come to the attention of CID? Did your CO turn the confiscated ID over to CID for some reason? Did you get charged with falsifying government documents or something?
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:50 PM   #17
cube_zombie
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I got caught b/c the id was confiscated at a club....It took a couple of weeks to get back to post and then my platoon sgt called me out of work and told me to follow him...He drove me down to CID..I seem to remember it being a couple of hours that I was questioned...iirc they thought I was involved in a fake id ring around ft. knox...I wasn't...All I did was sit around the barracks trying to figure out how to party with my friends...I guess they realized that I wasn't part of it...Let's put it this way..I didn't handle it well while I was there...(aka cried like a 6 year old girl)...I don't do well with being in trouble with law...I really thought I was done there...I don't really remember anything else since it was so long ago and everything is pretty foggy...

I'm still not for sure if I got an article 15 but I know I had extra duty...That's the entire story...and since then I've gotten a ticket for an expired tag...I didn't even go to court after I renewed my tag..I just paid the fine...As I said..I don't do well with being on the wrong side of the law..

One thing...Can I really bypass this by going for a concealed carry license? That just seems...odd...If it showed up on this background check surely it would pop up on the other one?

Anyway..Thanks to everyone who replied with good advice..I'm extremely embarassed about this situation and hesitated to post this here..
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:53 PM   #18
rantingredneck
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Quote:
One thing...Can I really bypass this by going for a concealed carry license? That just seems...odd...If it showed up on this background check surely it would pop up on the other one?
I'm no lawyer (take up the offer a few posts above).

Theoretically yes, a CHP will get you around this. The difference is the discretion that the law gives the sheriff in each case. CHP law is "shall" issue unless you have specific offenses in your past. Handgun Purchase Permit system gives very wide lattitude to the sheriff to deny based on "poor moral character" or some such nonsense.
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:58 PM   #19
cube_zombie
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Thanks for the info rantingrednect...If nothing else I'll check into that...I've also requested copies of all my discharge paperwork and pretty much everything related to that..I should have done it right after katrina..but got caught up with moving up here and then forgot :-/
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:59 PM   #20
cube_zombie
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JBriggs...PM sent
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Old March 2, 2009, 08:15 PM   #21
vranasaurus
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If you officially got "extra duty" you had to get an Article 15. Courts-martial don't really hand out extra duty as punishment.

Your chain of command can't just hand out extra duty without an article 15.
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Old March 2, 2009, 08:31 PM   #22
cube_zombie
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/me nods...I'm pretty sure I did...I know I remember the extra duty and the ass chewing by my 1sgt...I'm 99% sure I did...the unit that I was with was in the process of disbanding at that time as well...there was a lot of extra work for me...I know I didn't get a court martial..
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Old March 2, 2009, 11:48 PM   #23
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cube zombie:

I still think that you did NOT get an Article 15. Why?

Do you remember being standing in an office either at parade rest or attention, and hearing the following phrase:

"I am considering imposing punishment for the following incident: In that you did, on or about xx-xx-xxxx, did alter an official identification card, which is the property of the United States Government, in order to commit an illegal act. This is in violation of Article 134, UCMJ."

(NOTE: That's an approximation; there would probably have been more than one specification involved, too--and the citation would probably have been different.)

You were also read that you had three choices: 1. To accept the Article 15, as written; 2. To present matters of extenuation or mitigation, or: 3. To demand trial by court-martial. You would have been given 72 hours to decide what to do; you would have gone to see a JAG officer, received counsel, and would have been back to the Commander or his/her representative in three days.

If you don't remember any of that, you did NOT receive an Article 15.

vranasaurus: In a couple of my units, when soldiers screwed up in a minor way there was usually a meeting of the minds, so to speak--the immediate supervisor, the Platoon Sergeant, 1SG, and maybe even the Commander--but usually when the officers got involved, someone got hosed.

We would discuss the offense, and if the soldier was not a habitual screwup, and was just guilty (at the time) of "stupidity at the enlisted level", we would OK it with the 1SG, and then engage the young soldier in some "extra training"--which would consist of some onerous task or series thereof for about one week.

Of course, we had the craphouse lawyers, who said "Hey! You can't give me extra duty without an Article 15!" I would sit my soldiers down and explain patiently, "You're right, we can't. We can take this straight to the Commander's office. You get the Article 15. Then, you get flagged for promotion, reduced in rank, have to make the rank again, lose money, and work your butt off for at least a week, maybe two. You want to go that route? It's up to you." We never had someone demand an Article 15 in lieu of NCO-imposed extra training.

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Old March 3, 2009, 08:31 AM   #24
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I think the delay is a tactic to hope you go away....

from what I read of what happened there is no way you are in trouble and can not legally buy or own a gun. You would remember being in court and getting convicted of something, I hope.

N.C.'s 'sherif's approval' crap is a left over from the 'old south' and Jim Crow' days. To answer your 2nd question, yes get a CWP from N.C., which will actually I think require you go through the sherif too...but is the easiest thing to do.
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Old March 3, 2009, 09:16 AM   #25
vranasaurus
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Quote:
vranasaurus: In a couple of my units, when soldiers screwed up in a minor way there was usually a meeting of the minds, so to speak--the immediate supervisor, the Platoon Sergeant, 1SG, and maybe even the Commander--but usually when the officers got involved, someone got hosed.
AR 27-10 (Military Justice) explicitely states that extra training is the most effective way to handle minor disciplinary infractions. However the difference between extra training and extra duty is that the extra training must directly relate to the infraction or deficiency while extra duty does not have to.



If they called it extra duty it would have been imposed by Article 15 if they called it extra training or corrective action it could have been imposed by the first NCO in the chain of command. I know stuff gets "taken care of" but it is generally not called extra duty unless imposed under article 15.

By the time CID gets involved you can bet your ass that the company CO is well aware of the situation. CID generally only investigates felony type offenses.
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