November 6th, 2006 11:41 AM
It helps to know your current State law.
Like I said before, sometimes it just takes one person.
7. Member's odyssey with county over illegal fingerprinting - tenacity works!
This member fought and won to get his county to obey the new
fingerprinting law that says that localities cannot fingerprint for
CHP renewals. Armed with knowledge, it is hard to be run over.
The member wishes that his name and the county name be omitted and I have done so:
My County wanted my fingerprints for CHP renewal. I informed the
Sheriff's Office of HB1577 but was told that the Judge was
requiring it, new or renewal, no exceptions. In addition they wanted
my Social Security number in order to process the fingerprinting. I
showed them the "optional" on the State's form but was told that if I
wanted my CHP renewal acted on I had to supply my SS number and
submit to fingerprinting. I refused, and while trying to explain
why, I was told that the only thing I could do was to take it up
with the Judge.
Figuring that maybe the Judge was simply unaware of the newly enacted State Law, I went home and printed out the Summary of HB1577 from the State's LIS (accessed through VCDL's web link). Back at the Courthouse, I explained the situation to the Court Clerk and asked that the Judge be made aware that his (reported) CHP requirements were in conflict with State Code and the Sheriff's procedures appeared inconsistent with State guidelines concerning the SS number. The County Clerk agreed to do so. All this took place Friday, Sept 15.
After not being contacted for over a week, I stopped at the
Courthouse on Tuesday, Sept 26 to find out the status of my CHP
renewal, as the Judge was supposed to have acted on it the previous
Wednesday. However, the Court Clerk informed me that HB1577 had not become "official" and fingerprinting of CHP renewals would continue in spite of the "approved" wording at the bottom of the Summary.
I was given a number of copies of various parts of the Virginia Code
with sections highlighted purporting to prove what the
Court Clerk (and the Judge?) had concluded. Since it appeared that
these copies of the Code had been made from reference books and not the latest LIS postings on the State's website, I suggested that the referenced Code may not be up to date. The Court Clerk rejected this possibility and declared that the Judge's ruling would stand.
Then I was told to go back to the Sheriff's Office to begin my CHP
renewal again. At that point, I noted that the Sheriff's Office
would demand my SS# which I wasn't willing to supply. Ironically the
Court Clerk seemed to agree that the SS# was optional. Having been
given my CHP renewal packet (and all the highlighted Code reference
copies), I departed for home to look up the current law.
Using the Virginia Information Provider website I accessed the LIS,
looked up the Code changes relative to HB1577 and identified
15.2-915.3. A search returned the following Virginia Code:
=A7 15.2-915.3. Requiring fingerprinting for concealed handgun permit.
Notwithstanding =A7 15.2-915, a county or city may by ordinance require any applicant for a concealed handgun permit to submit to
fingerprinting for the purpose of obtaining the applicant's state or
national criminal history record; however, such ordinance may not
require fingerprinting for the renewal of an existing permit.
(2004, c. 462; 2006, c. 886.)
With the above in hand, I returned to the Courthouse (the same day).
While it was clear that the Court Clerk wasn't thrilled to see me
again so soon, I was told that the Judge would be given the "new"
Code that had I supplied, but the Judge would not be in until the
Wednesday of the next week, Oct 4. I returned my CHP renewal
materials to the Court Clerk and noted the 45 day processing deadline
which actually began Sept 15. The Circuit Court Clerk advised that I
could come back on Thurs, 5 Oct to learn the status of my CHP renewal.
On Thursday afternoon, Oct 5, I called and spoke with the Court
Clerk. She reported that no additional action had taken place as the
Judge did not come in the previous day as expected. Now she will
send my CHP renewal application to the Judge's Office (in another
county). In her doing so, I asked that she confirm for the Judge
that 15.2-915.3 was in force. She said she couldn't as her reference materials (dated 2005) had nothing about the fingerprinting of renewals and she had not receive any update. She agreed, however, to highlight 15.2-915.3 and where I obtained it (the State's website).
The Circuit Court Clerk called me Oct 13 and reported that the Judge
had informed her that my fingerprints would not be required. My
renewal application will now be sent to the Sheriff for the
background check. (Finally, 28 days, four full weeks to this point!).
I thanked her for calling.
On Monday afternoon, Oct 30, the 45th day following submission of my CHP renewal application, I once again phoned the Circuit Court
Clerk's Office. I was informed that the processing of my application
was not yet complete. I advised the Clerk that the 45 day processing
period expired that day and that I should be issued a temporary
permit not later than tomorrow as specified by 18.2-308 D.
After 30 or so minutes, I received a call from the Clerk and was
offered the following: 1) a temporary permit would be sent to me the next day, Tuesday, that I might get Wednesday, or 2) I could come to the Courthouse on Wednesday when my new CHP would be ready. I chose the latter, and on Nov 1, after 47 days, the renewal process concluded cordially.
The good part of this saga of the County's abusive bureaucracy is
that one can indeed prevail when armed with the correct information.
Thanks to VCDL and its VA-ALERT, I knew what I needed to know.
November 6th, 2006 12:23 PM
It's great that it worked out the WAY IT SHOULD HAVE.
But it's a shame it took all that. That kind of thing just drives me bonkers. I'd like to see people do prison time for that.
November 6th, 2006 12:27 PM
It's always disconcerting to see that the cogs in the courthouse machinary are set in a default mode to discount what you say. "Don't come in here messing things up with a clear reading of the current law. Whatever we say is the law."
November 6th, 2006 02:07 PM
These things are happening right here in Missouri also in several counties. I know of one guy that is actually taking the Sheriff to court (with a lawyer) over their abuse as the good Sheriff thinks he is above the law and can make up extra things for you to fill out as he pleases. The Sheriff is wrong and will be delt with in court now. It is hard to believe that a Sheriff think's he/she can do whatever he/she pleases and get by with it.
Glad to hear this changed their minds but it is not always that easy and it's sad that one has to go to those lengths to prove they are right when the law is the law and it is right there in front of their face.
Your friend did great!
Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!
I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!
November 6th, 2006 02:26 PM
I applaud the tenacity involved and required.
Fight the good fight - and win!!!! That's something else
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
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