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  • Applicants with CPLs: No Prob or Red Flag?

    This issue surfaced in another post and the reaction was such that it warrants a thread of its own.

    Question: is having a concealed pistol license a non-issue for police applicants? Or a red flag that needs to be thoroughly vetted?

    I submit the latter and I'll offer why.

    Disclaimer: I am not opposed to CPLs as public policy. I believe the 2nd Amendment was intended to allow good citizens to protect their life and property from bad elements. Like Charlton Heston used to say, " A gun in the hand of a good man is a good thing. A gun in the hand of a bad man is a bad thing."

    BUT... let's be honest.... the way things work in reality isn't always perfect....

    CPLs in my state are very easy to get. No felony/DV conviction + $99 safety class = a pistol license. One of my friends runs these classes and I've seen the cross section of society who gets CPLs. For every stay-at-home mom or businessman who deals in cash or senior citizen who lives in rough neighborhood, there are equal numbers of felons who haven't been caught yet, nervous types wired too tight, and wanna- be tough guys looking for a fight.

    The number of pistol license holders have been steadily increasing, an effect I would compare to keeping up with the Joneses. Your neighbor has one, the guy at work has one, everywhere you go, people have them. Rules about where not to go armed (i.e.- bars, churches, etc) are frequently broken and I see cowboys all the time ignoring the concealed part- they want everyone in the grocery store to know they are packing a .357 magnum.

    Then there are the avoidable tragedies: like the two guys, both family men with no previous history of violence, who pulled into a car wash after a road rage incident. Words quickly led to guns coming out and then BLAM BLAM BLAM, within minutes, both are graveyard dead from multiple bullet wounds. Both funerals were held at the same catholic church they attended.

    Or another road rage incident, where a 60 year old man in a pickup cut off a 40 year old man with his family. At the next stoplight, the younger guy ran up to the truck and shouted "What the hell is your problem?", to which the old man responded by putting a .45 round between his eyes as family watched. The local paper ran the story with a pic of the guy laying in the road like a snow angel, feet and hands sticking out from the blue tarp, a memorial now forever preserved on Google images in case the family wishes to re-visit that day.

    My point is this: there are many people with no business having a CPL, have it for the wrong reasons, or were drawn to it for reasons that need explaining if they are LEO applicants.

    I would compare having a CPL to an applicant walking into the panel interview with fingernails painted black.... Ok, what's the deal here....

    Maybe the applicant is an amateur magician, and black fingernail is part of his schtick, and he had a gig the previous night, and wasn't able to get the paint removed....

    Or maybe the applicant is some type of dark-hearted goth freakazoid who listens to Marilyn Mansion and worships a goat head statue who demands a human sacrifice.

    Same with CPL. Perhaps there is a valid reason, like the applicant's family business is gumball machines in hair salons and brake shops, and the applicant is the one who drives around and empties them.

    Or perhaps the reason is the applicant thinks a gun makes him a man, and he's willing to prove it as soon as the wrong person crosses his path.


    I open the floor to BIs who deal with this issue and to those with contrary perspective.




    I used to be a banker but I lost interest.

    -Steven Wright

  • #2
    Couldn't agree more. That being said I don't think seeing an active carry permit on a background should raise that many red flags but then again I have never investigated anyone. After all, we are all innocent until proven guilty.

    I do think there needs to be higher standards to carry a gun on your person in public... Initial and recurrent training, testing, education, case law, use of force scenarios, etc...

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post

      Disclaimer: I am not opposed to CPLs as public policy. I believe the 2nd Amendment was intended to allow good citizens to protect their life and property from bad elements. Like Charlton Heston used to say, " A gun in the hand of a good man is a good thing. A gun in the hand of a bad man is a bad thing."

      The rest of your post seems to contradict this.^^^^^^^

      While there are some who "have no criminal record" are able to get a (CHP in my State), the rest are law abiding citizens who are not freakish, but only want to have the protection of a firearm. They carry it concealed so that they are not broadcasting they have a weapon should they have to open carry it. Hopefully, the "wrong person [who] crosses my path" as you put it, and is using a weapon against me and my family, won't catch me without mine.

      As a BI, the red flags a candidate may have should show themselves through the various stages of the background process.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ratatatat View Post
        This issue surfaced in another post and the reaction was such that it warrants a thread of its own.

        Question: is having a concealed pistol license a non-issue for police applicants? Or a red flag that needs to be thoroughly vetted?

        I submit the latter and I'll offer why.

        Disclaimer: I am not opposed to CPLs as public policy. I believe the 2nd Amendment was intended to allow good citizens to protect their life and property from bad elements. Like Charlton Heston used to say, " A gun in the hand of a good man is a good thing. A gun in the hand of a bad man is a bad thing."

        BUT... let's be honest.... the way things work in reality isn't always perfect....

        CPLs in my state are very easy to get. No felony/DV conviction + $99 safety class = a pistol license. One of my friends runs these classes and I've seen the cross section of society who gets CPLs. For every stay-at-home mom or businessman who deals in cash or senior citizen who lives in rough neighborhood, there are equal numbers of felons who haven't been caught yet, nervous types wired too tight, and wanna- be tough guys looking for a fight.

        The number of pistol license holders have been steadily increasing, an effect I would compare to keeping up with the Joneses. Your neighbor has one, the guy at work has one, everywhere you go, people have them. Rules about where not to go armed (i.e.- bars, churches, etc) are frequently broken and I see cowboys all the time ignoring the concealed part- they want everyone in the grocery store to know they are packing a .357 magnum.

        Then there are the avoidable tragedies: like the two guys, both family men with no previous history of violence, who pulled into a car wash after a road rage incident. Words quickly led to guns coming out and then BLAM BLAM BLAM, within minutes, both are graveyard dead from multiple bullet wounds. Both funerals were held at the same catholic church they attended.

        Or another road rage incident, where a 60 year old man in a pickup cut off a 40 year old man with his family. At the next stoplight, the younger guy ran up to the truck and shouted "What the hell is your problem?", to which the old man responded by putting a .45 round between his eyes as family watched. The local paper ran the story with a pic of the guy laying in the road like a snow angel, feet and hands sticking out from the blue tarp, a memorial now forever preserved on Google images in case the family wishes to re-visit that day.

        My point is this: there are many people with no business having a CPL, have it for the wrong reasons, or were drawn to it for reasons that need explaining if they are LEO applicants.

        I would compare having a CPL to an applicant walking into the panel interview with fingernails painted black.... Ok, what's the deal here....

        Maybe the applicant is an amateur magician, and black fingernail is part of his schtick, and he had a gig the previous night, and wasn't able to get the paint removed....

        Or maybe the applicant is some type of dark-hearted goth freakazoid who listens to Marilyn Mansion and worships a goat head statue who demands a human sacrifice.

        Same with CPL. Perhaps there is a valid reason, like the applicant's family business is gumball machines in hair salons and brake shops, and the applicant is the one who drives around and empties them.

        Or perhaps the reason is the applicant thinks a gun makes him a man, and he's willing to prove it as soon as the wrong person crosses his path.


        I open the floor to BIs who deal with this issue and to those with contrary perspective.

        Most of your musings don't seem to have anything to do with your actual question.

        That said, in my state it's just about impossible for the average citizen to obtain a carry permit so the issue really doesn't come up in the hiring process. I only recall one instance of an applicant with a permit...and he was disqualified due to the very circumstances that granted him the permit in the first place. He was one of the very few citizens who was able to establish that he had been previously assaulted and that his life continued to be in danger. Consequently, he was deemed too much of a liability for the department.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think a concealed carry permit in and of itself should be a red flag. A permit along with other indicators, however, could pop a HUGE red flag...even if the other indicators themselves might be minor or borderline. I think CCW permits are like most non-auto-DQ things in LE hiring backgrounds...it has to do with the total package and what different indicators have to say about the person as a whole.
          "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
          -Friedrich Nietzsche

          Comment


          • #6
            Echoing Bing's sentiment above, I feel it varies by individual.

            Candidate 1: Has a concealed carry permit because he works in the city in a dangerous part of town. He took the class, has no criminal history, and otherwise seems your average everyday Joe. His Facebook is filled with pictures of his family and their last camping trip.

            Candidate 2: Has a concealed carry permit because guns are the coolest thing ever. Makes it a point in his interview to talk about all his firearms training and his vast collection. Facebook is full of pictures with him posing with his guns along with Punisher/We Don't Call 911 memes.

            Neither candidate has broken a law but of the two which gives a background investigator pause? Merely having a concealed carry is too broad a spectrum to disqualify someone, in my opinion, but the personality and ethos of the individual applicant is everything.

            As an aside, I believe concealed carry should have more use of force training requirements to avoid the situations like Ratatatat described. Guns and alcohol especially don't mix.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don’t see the issue of someone having a CPL unless something happened that was a result of said CPL.

              example: forgetting your handgun that you are legally allowed to carry due to having a CPL in a bathroom stall and having the police getting involved.

              or in certain states getting pulled over and failing to disclose to the officer you have a CPL and are/aren’t armed.

              and of course pulling your gun at a bar because the Yankees lost and the Red Sox fans at the next table berate you.

              I had a CPL for close to 10 years before I got hired on as a Fed LEO. Never came up during my BI other than listing it in my application when requested.

              Comment


              • #8
                By itself it's a non issue. The various laws don't require someone to justify their desire to engage in a legal act. They are required to meet X conditions. I view it as any other type of license. If I wasn't a police officer, I would have a concealed carry permit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  As a matter of fact, concealed carry permit holders are less than half as likely to commit a crime than actively employed law enforcement officers are, and are far less likely to wound or kill an innocent bystander than the cops are. Nationally there are fewer than one in 10,000 concealed carry permit holders arrested or charged for any crime, whether or not firearm-related. These facts are easily verifiable.

                  A concealed carry permit tells me that the holder has been vetted, is unlikely to have any criminal history, is unlikely to be a fugitive, and is very unlikely to be a threat to myself or the public.

                  During my military service I received training on just about every type of small arms, Western or Commie Bloc, In use anywhere in the world. I was also trained in the use of explosives, sabotage, improvised weapons, and "mechanical ambushes" (booby traps). I also held concealed carry permits in 3 states (very uncommon in the 1960's to 1970's), and frequently travelled on military orders allowing possession of firearms and concealed carry. I regularly carried a side arm both on duty and off duty, and usually had heavier weapons readily available. I served two combat tours in Vietnam during which I was wounded several times, and I popped a lot of caps on bad guys myself.

                  When I was discharged from the Army I received 4 employment offers from local, state, and federal agencies. No problems with background investigations, polygraphs, etc. Retired now, I hold concealed carry permits in two states, with LEOSA endorsement on my home state permit. Never had a problem carrying, including such places as DC, CA, NYC, NJ, MA, Hawaii and others in which simple possession of an unlicensed firearm is a serious offense, much less concealed carry in public.

                  To me, a citizen with a concealed carry permit is one who recognizes that we live in a dangerous world, that we are all primarily responsible for our own protection, and that when seconds count the cops are minutes away. Enlightened self-interest is not a disqualifying characteristic.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What IS somewhat of an instant red flag for me are applicants who work as security guards. I'm sure there are plenty of security guards that will move on to become good cops...but overall, that group seems to have far more "issues" than other candidates. Oral boards and psych will usually weed them out.

                    On a side note, my bias towards security guards has just been re-enforced by a recent experience at the local grocery store. I used the self-checkout...and on the way out the door was aggressively accosted by a uniformed, baby-faced store security guard who accused me of shoplifting. I asked him what I supposedly stole, and he told me I failed to scan a tiny sample bag containing a single Tide pod that had been handed out to customers in the back of the store (I have two teenagers, so I figured it would be a nice treat for them...). I informed him that it was a free sample, pointed out where it said "not intended for sale", and even showed him that there was no barcode on it that I could have scanned. But nope, he insisted he had to "detain" me until he could verify with management. Thankfully he wasn't armed because he probably would have held me at gunpoint until his manager got there.

                    I'm just waiting for his application to come across my desk...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I also wonder about the security guard types.

                      We had one in my class that I actually became good friends with, he was a good guy who eventually became a small city chief within the parish that that we were deputies in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post
                        What IS somewhat of an instant red flag for me are applicants who work as security guards. I'm sure there are plenty of security guards that will move on to become good cops...but overall, that group seems to have far more "issues" than other candidates. Oral boards and psych will usually weed them out.

                        On a side note, my bias towards security guards has just been re-enforced by a recent experience at the local grocery store. I used the self-checkout...and on the way out the door was aggressively accosted by a uniformed, baby-faced store security guard who accused me of shoplifting. I asked him what I supposedly stole, and he told me I failed to scan a tiny sample bag containing a single Tide pod that had been handed out to customers in the back of the store (I have two teenagers, so I figured it would be a nice treat for them...). I informed him that it was a free sample, pointed out where it said "not intended for sale", and even showed him that there was no barcode on it that I could have scanned. But nope, he insisted he had to "detain" me until he could verify with management. Thankfully he wasn't armed because he probably would have held me at gunpoint until his manager got there.

                        I'm just waiting for his application to come across my desk...

                        not.in.MY.town, you need one of theses^^^^^^^^
                        Last edited by BTDT2; 07-20-2019, 12:29 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BTDT2 View Post


                          not.in.MY.town, you need one of theses^^^^^^^^
                          I should have demanded that he read me my Miranda warnings.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            A candidate applying for or possessing a CCW is a red flag for many BI's. It's not related to being able to legally carry a concealed weapon. The only question would be "Why do you feel the need to CCW?" So, the underlying issue is really related to finding out if the candidate wants to carry because they are a goofball trying to be cool (maturity issue) or merely exercising the right to carry. That's usually the only issue.
                            Policebackground.net - Background investigation consulting & forums
                            http://www.policebackground.net

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by not.in.MY.town View Post

                              I should have demanded that he read me my Miranda warnings.
                              When a self-checkout is used a tacit admission is within acceptable limits.

                              Comment

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