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Denied gun rights over small theft when I was 17. I am now 62
#1
Hi,
I'm new here (to this forum) but not new in Colorado. I have lived here 35 years and I am a 62 year old law abiding retired man. I recently was denied a conceal and carry permit in Arapahoe county because I was convicted of grand larceny in high school in 1972. I spent an entire day on the phone with the State of Alabama where I grew up and finally got all they have on record for the conviction. It says I plead guilty as a youthful offender to stealing an electric trolling motor (value $200) with 4 of my friends. The fine was $200. I am now finding out that Colorado will not permit me even the right to own a gun in my home. I feel like this state goes way out of its way to stop legal gun ownership. Yes I made a big mistake at the age of 17. I was convicted at the age of 18 but as a youthful offender. The state of Alabama told me today these documents should be sealed as a youthful offender but in my case the FBI and CBI found these old records.

From what an attorney told me today there is very little I can do. I was told there is a case at the supreme court right now where something like my case is being heard. Basically the case is about states going way out of their way to stop gun ownership. So I can sit and wait and hope or I can try and do something.

If any of you can offer me the name or phone number of a good attorney please let me know. Also .... is it possible in these cases to sit down with the Arapahoe Sheriff and show them all this and possibly be allowed to own a gun? When I checked the box that said no I have not been convicted of a felony I thought I was being honest. I had no idea this issue of 45 years ago was a felony and have never had to deal with it since then. Almost every corporation I have worked for did an extensive background check and not one of them has ever brought this up.

Your advice is appreciated in advance,
Don - Centennial, CO
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#2
When records are sealed, they can't be found on backgrounds checks for employers and the like. But they generally are still available for law enforcement to lookup.

As for the conviction being a felony or not, that's harder to answer without the legal details. Remember, that it doesn't have to have actually resulted in a felony-style sentence (1year+), but that it could have been.

I'm not familiar with the case the lawyer is describing, but I'd be sure glad to have any details so we can follow it.

I found some pro-gun lawyers in Colorado for you (courtesy of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network site):

Stephen D. Benson
Benson Law Office
102 East Pikes Peak Ave., Ste. 400, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-475-0709
www.vindicatorlaw.com



Anthony J. Fabian
Law Offices of Anthony J. Fabian, PC
510 Wilcox St., Ste. C, Castle Rock, CO 80104
303-663-9339
www.ajfabianlaw.com
fabianlaw@questoffice.net



Charles E. Feldmann, Esq.
Feldmann Nagel, LLC
1120 S. Lincoln, Ste. A., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487
970-879-8616, 888-458-0991
www.colo-lawyers.com
www.militaryjusticeinternational.com
cfeldmann@feldmann-nagel.com



Greg Greer
Greer Law Firm, PC
202 Eighth St., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
970-945-9269
greggreerlaw.com
greg@greggreerlaw.com



Edward Levy
Atlas Law Firm, P.C.
3773 Cherry Creek N Dr. Ste 575, Denver, CO 80209
303-481-6352
www.atlaslawpc.com
elevy@atlaslawpc.com



Nathan G. Osborn
Montgomery Little & Soran
5445 DTC Parkway, Ste. 800, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
303-773-8100
www.montgomerylittle.com
nosborn@montgomerylittle.com



Timothy J. Priebe, Esq.
Priebe Law Firm, LLC
1465 Kelly Johnson Blvd., Ste. 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
719-388-8899
tim.priebe@colawyeronline.com
www.colawyeronline.com



Adam J. Schultz
Attorney at Law
211 W. Abriendo Ave., Pueblo, CO 81003
719-542-9559
www.aschultzlaw.com 
adamjschultz@gmail.com

Robert B. Wareham
The Law Center P.C.
300 Plaza Dr., Ste. 200, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
303-991-5201
www.TheLawCenterPC.com
rbwareham@TheLawCenterPC.com



Adam L. Weitzel
Law Office of Adam L. Weitzel, P.C.
411 S. Cascade Ave., Ste. 100, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
719-355-8840
www.alwlegal.com
adam@alwlegal.com



Kenneth D. Willis
2200 East 104th Ave.,Yorkshire Plaza Bldg., Ste. 103, Thornton, CO 80233
303-898-1700
kdwillis@comcast.net
JackRock
Lakewood, CO
http://ryancash.co
Charter Member, Bristlecone Shooting Center
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#3
Welcome to Colorado!  Colorado claims to be a pro-2nd Amendment "shall issue" state and Colorado Sheriffs claim to be pro-2nd Amendment, but the reality is that Sheriffs retain the authority to deny CHP applicants under discretionary authority.  Said differently, to carry a concealed weapon, you must ask the state for permission and the standards that are applied by county sheriffs vary by county and vary according to the degree of background investigation an individual sheriff decides is appropriate for their county.  Colorado is really a "may issue" state in disguise.

This web site contains the statutory reports that Sheriffs must file detailing the reasons for denying a CHP applicant, so you can see how Arapahoe county denials compare with other counties in Colorado.

http://www.leg.state.co.us/library/reports.nsf/ReportsDoc.xsp?documentId=D6727350F8E058DB87256E6600773612

The solution is fundamentally political, not legal.  Kick anti-gun politicians -- including your local sheriff -- out of office.  You should start by calling call your local state representative and ask how they are voting on the Constitutional carry bills that do not require citizens to apply to government for permission to carry firearms.  If they vote against such bills, consider giving money to their opponents.

Going to court means that you will likely appear before a judge appointed by anti-gun Dems, who are unlikely to be supporters of the 2nd Amendment.  To add insult to injury, the local sheriff can draw on virtually unlimited taxpayer money to defend his/her decision to deny a CHP, whereas you will have to fund your challenge to the decision with your own money.  I usually advise clients denied a CHP that instead of spending their money on a lawyer in hopes of achieving an unlikely result before a Dem judge, they should use their money to defeat the local sheriff who is anti-2nd amendment.
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#4
JackRock and MarkS thank you VERY much for the information you've provided. At this point I could care less about the CCW. The thing that scares me now is that an investigator at Arapahoe county said I can't even own a gun. That is huge for me. I have since provided them a legal copy of my record from Alabama where I grew up. The record is sealed but as you said it's not sealed for background checks. I feel they saw Grand Larceny and just said no. They didn't read the details I provided yesterday. I was convicted as a youthful offender, fined $200 and 12 months probation. In 1972 in Alabama probation of less than 12 months and 1 day is a misdemeanor sentence. Not necessarily a misdemeanor offense though. I have read all over the net about ex prisoners who got their gun rights back. These people did a lot more than steal a trolling motor off a boat. I have also sent in a summary of my life since high school. Hopefully they will change their mind but I'm not so sure at the moment. I will post an update soon.
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#5
(04-08-2016, 10:10 AM)dlbeck54 Wrote: I was convicted as a youthful offender, fined $200 and 12 months probation. In 1972 in Alabama probation of less than 12 months and 1 day is a misdemeanor sentence.

Quick question, because I don't know AL law. What was the charge you were convicted under? Under CO law, if a misdemeanor CAN be charged with more than 12 months of sentence, it will still qualify for a denial of gun ownership and CHP denial.

Now, as you noted, there are many cases where such individuals get their rights back. Sadly, I'm wildly underqualified to speak on the how/why/when/who to get this under way. All I can say is that it almost universally will involve a lawyer on your side.
JackRock
Lakewood, CO
http://ryancash.co
Charter Member, Bristlecone Shooting Center
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#6
(04-08-2016, 10:10 AM)dlbeck54 Wrote: JackRock and MarkS thank you VERY much for the information you've provided. At this point I could care less about the CCW. The thing that scares me now is that an investigator at Arapahoe county said I can't even own a gun. That is huge for me. I have since provided them a legal copy of my record from Alabama where I grew up. The record is sealed but as you said it's not sealed for background checks. I feel they saw Grand Larceny and just said no. They didn't read the details I provided yesterday. I was convicted as a youthful offender, fined $200 and 12 months probation. In 1972 in Alabama probation of less than 12 months and 1 day is a misdemeanor sentence. Not necessarily a misdemeanor offense though. I have read all over the net about ex prisoners who got their gun rights back. These people did a lot more than steal a trolling motor off a boat. I have also sent in a summary of my life since high school. Hopefully they will change their mind but I'm not so sure at the moment. I will post an update soon.

Good luck with your case.  When CBI testified against Constitutional Carry last year, they counted all denials -- like yours -- as accomplishments that protected the public from criminals who would use guns and CHPs to commit crimes.  They are fundamentally anti-2nd Amendment who view any denial as an event that protects the public.  The head of the CBI is a political appointee of the Dem governor, so changing that anti-2nd Amendment attitude requires changing political administrations, which has proven difficult given the dysfunctional Colorado Republican party.

Your country sheriff, David Walcher, is serving his first term (elected in 2014).  You may wish to chat with the chair of the Republican party in Arapahoe county about whether there are any opponents in the next primary.  In any rate, it would be good idea to become actively engaged in local politics and start attending local Republican central committee meetings to ensure that your representatives (including your sheriff) are pro-2nd Amendment.  Their # is 303-779-1115.

While it deals with restoration of gun rights to someone who was committed for mental issues decades earlier, Tyler v Hillsdale County Sheriff presents circumstances similar to your case.  You'd be wise to read it and ask about it (particularly the federal relief mechanisms that may or may not apply in Colorado) when you interview lawyers to represent you.  Here it is:

http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1687104.html

Also, be aware that if you possess a Colorado medical marijuana card, the ATF considers that as evidence that you are addicted to drugs and possession of firearms and ammo is a felony as far as they are concerned even if it is legal under state law.  Lots of older Coloradans -- including my Korean War vet Dad who died last year -- use marijuana as an alternative pain treatment to the addictive opioids prescribed by the prescription mills that are our medical community.  There are several hundred thousand Coloradans with medical marijuana cards.  IMHO, it will only be a matter of time before anti-2nd Amendment sheriffs and the ATF get the right set of subpoenas to bump the state medical marijuana database against the database of CCW holders/applicants and come after them as prohibited persons who are felons by virtue of possessing a firearm and a medical marijuana card.  It would not be surprising if the ATF and federal DOJ condition grants/federal funds to sheriffs' offices on requiring sheriffs to make inquiries regarding applicants' medical marijuana cards.

Likewise, if you are a vet and have appointed a representative to handle your VA benefits, federal law enforcement authorities consider you to be a mental incompetent who cannot possess firearms or ammo.  There are several hundred thousand vets in the category who have appointed a representative to manage their VA benefits (like their son) but are considered felons if they own a firearm.  I learned about this when I started processing my Dad's veteran's benefits under the VA's programs.  Be careful.
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