Firearms Permit Appeal
“I have been denied my permit by the Indiana State Police. The denial letter says something about the right to appeal. Is this important? What if I don’t?”
Bryan L. Ciyou, one of the principals at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., has committed a significant part of his professional career to gun-law issues. This noted, a common area in which the firm receives inquiries relates to the process to obtain a License to Carry a Handgun (“License”) and denial of any potential Application made under Licensing statutes.
Under Indiana statutory law adopted by the General Assembly, a person may carry a handgun throughout the State, unless otherwise prohibited, if he or she possesses a valid License. The General Assembly has delegated the Licensing process to the Superintendent of the Indiana State Police (“ISP”).
Constitutional challenges to the need for a License, under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and under Article I, Section 32 of the Indiana Constitution, have been long rejected by the Indiana Supreme Court. The reason or rationale for a License is that a handgun, by its nature, is more easily concealed on or about a person’s body and is a greater threat of harm to a civilian or law enforcement officers, if carried without screening of the person who desires to carry.
For this reason, an Applicant seeking a License must be a “proper person” and be of “good character and reputation.” If this is the case, the Superintendent shall issue the person a License. Where an Applicant has been denied, he or she has 30 days to appeal the matter to the Superintendent. Failure to do so waives any erroneous decision that might have been made in passing upon the Application.
In most cases, the Applicant’s denial is self-apparent and an appeal to the Superintendent, while a right, is unlikely to be successful. A “proper person” of “good character and fitness” is a person defined by the lack of certain things in his or her history. These range from untreated and uncontrolled mental illness to a criminal history.
A felony, no matter how old, even for a “white collar” crime, makes an applicant an improper person. In addition, the line of disqualification typically orients (like other criminal issues) between misdemeanor and felony.
Nevertheless, a conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence makes a person an improper person. Equally, a person is an improper person if, after a hearing, her or she is the subject of certain domestic protective orders. This person is Brady-disqualified and thus an improper person.
Where most viable cases arise with denial of a License for being an improper person is with mental health issues or minor criminal acts. In these situations, it is sometimes the case that the Applicant has failed to provide the Superintendent with adequate materials about the underlying issue. For this reason, a denial may be reconsidered and a person be awarded a License as a “proper person.”
As a part of our core firearms practice, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. consults with potential applicants and those who have been denied a License. If this is your case, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. may be a consideration for your counsel to guide you through this process.
In addition, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys are knowledgeable about state and federal criminal and civil laws and ordinances and regulations concerning firearms. Firearms involve a tremendous amount of regulation because it is such a serious topic, and ultimately, such deadly instruments. Therefore, be certain of your case. Carefully select your legal adviser.